Fine motor skills are smaller movements that are completed by using the small muscles in our hands. Fine motor activities include: cutting, pasting, threading, drawing, writing, doing up zips and buttons and manipulating objects in our hands. This ability will develop naturally as your child explores their environment and matures. There is often an expectation that children in pre-school or prep will be competent in their fine motor skills; however at this age, it is important for children to have fun with fine motor skills and through this fun and play, they will become more competent and confident in their ability.
Here are some practical ways that you can support your child’s fine motor development at home:
- Putting on and taking off clothes is a simple way to build up your child’s hand and finger muscles. Even with buttons, you do a few and then let your child finish the rest.
- Play dress ups and use costumes/shoes with different fasteners, clips, laces etc
- When your child is in the pre-writing phase, avoid skipping the pre-writing steps – make sure you do drawing and colouring with your child. They will practice writing at school so it is important to build up their strength and endurance. Colouring uses a lot more strokes than writing so this is a great way to build endurance and get ready for writing!
- Using a vertical surface such as a blackboard or art easel is a great way to develop arm and hand skills.
- Practice threading beads or pasta onto string and making jewellery.
- Using playdoh is a fun way to increase strength in your child’s hands. It is also useful to play with playdoh before writing if your child is having difficulty holding the pencils, as the playdoh gets the hands and senses ready to write.
- Stacking blocks is a great way to promote hand manipulation!
- Practice making shapes and letters in different textures such as sand and playdoh, or if you’re feeling brave, you can make some ‘goop’ with corn flour and water and play with this.
- Let your child help with the cooking. When you’re cooking, set up a cooking station next to you for your child and they can stir and shake with their own playset.
- When you go to the park, explore different textures and make it fun to find things that sound crunchy, are soft or hard etc. Don’t be afraid to get messy!
If you have any concerns about your child’s fine motor development or would like more information, please call Kids at Max on 9702 4447