10 Ways to Improve Children’s Fine Motor Skills
The development of fine motor skills (or dexterity) is an essential part of a child’s upbringing. By learning how to use small muscles in places like their hands, fingers, wrists and eyes, children strengthen their nervous system to write, turn pages, hold items, type on a keyboard and other useful tasks.
At Little Lukes Preschool & Childcare Center, we believe it is imperative that children practice fine motor skills not only to prepare for kindergarten but also to prepare them for life. Together, parents and teachers can support children’s unique paths to increase dexterity.
No matter the child’s current ability, whether he is ahead of his preschool class or requires more support, these 10 tips to build fine motor skills are bound to help your child’s kindergarten readiness.
Allow your child to help with meals
Whether it be setting the table, using silverware, pouring a glass of milk or measuring ingredients, your child is strengthening necessary, little muscles.
Allow children to try getting dressed on their own
Give them the chance to zip, button and fasten their own clothing.
Finger-painting, along with using a brush to paint, are both great ways to improve grip and finger movement.
Encourage writing and drawing
Give children as many opportunities as possible to write their names, or just draw and scribble with crayons throughout the day to enhance coordinated wrist and eye movement.
Play board games and puzzles with them
Why not have fun and spend quality time with children while also helping their synchronization of muscles? These activities not only help build motor skills but also develop the critical thinking process.
Create with Play-Doh
Play-Doh gives your child the creativity to create shapes and figures while also giving them essential movements for development.
Teach them to tie their shoes
Every morning, teach children the movements to tying their shoes and keep the routine consistent.
Allow children to practice cutting with scissors
Give children a piece of paper with an outline of a shape or several shapes printed onto it. Ask the children to follow the outline with a pair of child-safe scissors.
Let them play with blocks
Allow your children to create their own masterpiece out of building blocks. Cleaning up the tiny pieces also reinforces muscle memory and ensures you won’t step on a block later.
10. Spell out words
Print out the entire alphabet and cut out each letter individually. Attach one clothespin to each letter. After doing this, find a space in your house that you can tape both sides of a 4 to 5ft thin piece of string latterly. Allow children to place the clothespin letters on the string to spell out words to encourage eye and hand coordination.
These everyday activities can greatly influence your child’s development. Children are curious and love to do things that adults do, so take advantage of this! If children consistently try at home and in the classroom to develop small muscle coordination, their dexterity will keep improving!
Little Lukes Preschool & Childcare Center is a leading Syracuse daycare provider with five locations. The early education program includes credentialed and caring staff that specializes in comprehensive infant, toddler and pre-kindergarten development. Additional services include pediatric speech therapy, pediatric physical therapy and pediatric occupational therapy.
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