When helping kids to develop accurate fine motor skills, it is important to understand how we use our hands. When we are manipulating small objects such as buttons, our hands are separated into two sides and each side is used differently. One side of the hand (often called the skilled side) includes the thumb, the index finger and the middle finger. The other side includes the ring finger and the little finger. When doing up a button, the skilled side will often do most of the work, and the ring and little fingers may assist with stabilising the hand against the shirt or be tucked into the hand. The hand is used in a similar way during writing, with the skilled side of the hand grasping the pencil and the other two fingers often tucked under. Therefore, it is very important to develop good fine motor control on the skilled side of the hand. The next few posts will have ideas for helping kids to develop this control.
1. A fun idea to help your child develop Fine Motor Skills, and to get them helping around the house. Using tongs, let your child help with putting things into the salad bowl at dinner time, unscrewing lids, water plants with a spray bottle or get them to help with washing activities such as washing up or cleaning windows.
2. Use water play to encourage Fine Motor Skills. Use Spray bottles and eyedroppers filled with water to make water drawings on the dry concrete outside.
3. Play board games with your child. Get your child to manipulate small pieces around a board game to encourage Fine Motor Skills or try Jigsaw puzzles with small knob handles.
4. Drawing with small pieces of chalk or broken crayons is a great workout for little hands. Or try playing games with small tokens and coins such as monopoly or shopkeeper.
5. Pegging, pegs bring hours of fun to most children. If I give my children a bucket of pegs I won’t hear a peep out of them for a long time. Why not try to get your little one to peg the pegs to a bucket or help peg the washing or dolls clothes to the line.
6. Beading and threading will bring hours of fun to any little one. A great game to play, your child won’t even notice their fingers are having a workout. Or alternatively, an old-fashioned spinning top is an inexpensive, fun way to get little fingers working.