Developing their fine motor skills (that is, their ability to use their hands to perform small actions) allows children to become more independent at things like zipping their coat up or brushing their teeth. It also allows them to explore the world more and express themselves creatively, working in tandem with hand-eye coordination. Read on for some tips from a prep school in Kent on how you can help your child develop their fine motor skills.
Give your child as many opportunities as possible to engage in creative activities like painting, colouring and drawing. They will have to learn to use tools like crayons and paintbrushes and control them with fine hand movements to create something on the paper. You can start by giving them bigger objects like chunky crayons or chalk to get them used to use their hands to make marks, and then progress to smaller tools like slim pencils or paintbrushes to enhance their fine motor skills further.
Get your child involved in everyday activities like baking, cooking and cleaning the house. This will introduce them to a variety of utensils and tools, and they’ll learn how to control them with their hands; for example, when baking let them use a teaspoon to sprinkle sugar into a mixture or let them use a duster to help you with the polishing. At dinner time, teach your child how to use a knife and fork properly, and let them work things out for themselves if they’re struggling with it. You could also let them help you with some gardening where they can practise the pincer grasp to pick up small items like seeds and learn to use a trowel to dig up soil.
Learning through play
There are plenty of opportunities for your child to develop their fine motor skills when they’re playing. Activities like stacking blocks or making a model will require them to pick up small pieces and put them together with control, as will puzzles and board games.
Encourage your child to be as active as possible as this will also help them learn to control their movements. Dancing is a great way for them to practise hand movements, as are games involving throwing or catching. They’ll have so much fun they won’t even know they’re learning!
Your child’s fine motor skills will be developed in many different ways as they grow and mature, but you can support them at home through everyday activities like these.
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