Children begin to develop their fine motor skills when they’re still babies, as young as one or two months old. They are skills required to fulfil many basic tasks, like handling cutlery or tying shoelaces, which means we often take them for granted. These skills gradually become stronger and stronger as children get older and take on more challenging activities. As with anything, practise makes perfect, and there are activities you can try and home that can help your child develop these skills. Here are some ideas from a prep school in Hertfordshire.
Bath time is a great opportunity for your child to practise their fine motor skills. You could give them a sponge and ask them to squeeze it to absorb and release water. You could also give them some plastic cups and bottles and ask them to pour the water from one to another, trying not to spill any. This will help strengthen the small muscles in their hands, fingers, and wrists.
Encouraging your child to help them with the gardening is not only an opportunity for them to develop their fine motor skills, but also a chance for them to get some fresh air and bond with you. Digging with a mini trowel or delicately placing seedlings all require control and strength in the hands and fingers, which is why gardening is idea for developing fine motor skills.
Arts and crafts are great for boosting a child’s creativity and expression, but also for strengthening their fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination. For instance, they might need to handle a paintbrush or some crayons or cut card with scissors. The more they practise these activities, the neater they will get at it.
Stirring, pouring, and measuring all involve the muscles in the hands and fingers, and are therefore great for improving fine motor skills. With that said, it would be wise to encourage your child to help you prepare a meal or bake a cake. Even getting everyone a drink to have with their meal can help, because it requires careful pouring.
Board games, jigsaws, Lego and plenty of other children’s toys are great for building fine motor skills because they involve handling tiny objects. Operation is one fantastic example of this because it requires the player to have a really steady hand. Don’t take games for granted, because as well as providing hours of entertainment, they can also help youngsters with their learning and development.
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