Fine motor skills play an essential role in everyday life. For instance, they are necessary for buttoning shirts, utensils, and fastening buttons. Fine motor skills are also crucial for handwriting, artwork, and other types of creative expression. So many things we do at work or everyday routine that require fine motor skills. That’s why developing these skills early on is vital for children to succeed during school and their future careers.
This article will review what fine motor skills are and how they are developed. We will also list the best and easiest way to develop fine motor skills using various equipment.
What are Fine Motor Skills?
Fine Motor Skills are defined as the abilities that allow a person to use small muscles in the hands and arms to manipulate objects such as playing an instrument, writing, or tying shoes. It helps in performing tasks such as tying shoelaces, washing dishes, or brushing teeth.
Fine motor skills begin to develop when a kid uses the smaller muscles in their fingers, hands, wrists, toes, and feet. Developing muscles include actions like holding, grasping, or pressing.
For children in preschool, it is extremely important to develop these skills because it will help them with a lot of tasks later on in life. As a parent, you must dedicate your time to your child to develop these skills. You can use a lot of simple techniques to help your kid gain this skill.
Reasons Why Fine Motor Skills Are So Important
Fine motor skills are one important skill that every child should develop. Fine motor is necessary for everyday living, learning, and growing. The use of fine motor skills like grasping a pencil and drawing or holding small toys help a child to acquire new skills. Below are the other reasons why it is important for a kid to develop these skills:
- Development of hand-eye coordination: Developing fine motor skills will help make your child develop hand-to-eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination is very important in many activities such as catching a baseball, playing musical instruments, and even typing. Well-developed hand-to-eye coordination will greatly help your kid better at any sports or career that requires eyesight as well as handling small objects.
- Learning how to do things yourself: Learning how to perform tasks like buttoning shirts and tying shoes requires fine motor skills. Suppose you want your little one to develop independence, teach them how to do things themselves. Learning new things early on can help your kid in the future.
- Using various objects daily: As children grow older, they should learn to use tableware and other important objects around their house such as a telephone or a computer. Fine motor skills are very helpful in handling different kinds of objects needed in daily activities. As kids grow from preschool learners into grade school students, they should also develop this skill as they continue their education.
10 Best Ways You Can Help Kids Develop and Enhance Their Fine Motor Skills
In Baby Steps Preschool, we make sure that each of our students develops their fine motor skills. Our teachers slowly introduce new materials and aids to help kids grasp the concepts. We dedicate a lot of time to this because it is important for kids to develop these skills as early on as possible. We understand how hard it is to guide your child to learn the skill, so our goal is to help parents alleviate these challenges by providing you with valuable information you can use.
This piece has compiled a list of the best and easiest activities to help your kid develop fine motor skills. These activities are fun and enjoyable for both parents and kids.
1. Do puzzles
Puzzles are a great way to challenge your child’s brain and increase his fine motor skills. Puzzles are also a way to keep your child entertained while he practices his skills. But sometimes, as a parent, you’ll find it hard to give your child the correct puzzle. You might end up choosing puzzles that are too hard and complicated for them or ones that have too many small pieces. One way to help your kid is by choosing puzzles that have larger pieces because they are easier to handle and put together.
2. Make fun with Play-dough
You can create lots of fun and colorful toys using Play-dough. Playing with play-dough helps your child develop motor skills such as rolling, pinching, pressing, and cutting. As your child practices holding and pressing the play-dough, it also helps improve his small muscles development. You can also use it to make lots of fun toys such as miniature animals and characters so your kid will have a lot of playtimes.
3. Draw Pictures
Drawing pictures is another way to improve your child’s fine motor skills. Kids can draw anything they want, whether it’s a picture of themselves or something else. They can practice holding markers and pens so they better understand what those tools feel like.
4. Using kitchen tongs or tweezers
Using kitchen tongs is a way to help children with fine motor skills. As kids use these tools, they will learn how to control the movement of their hands and fingers. These tools will help them for future activities such as sewing, cooking, and even writing. In this activity, you can also teach your child how to hold the material properly by placing it on their hands from different angles that are comfortable for them to hold.
5. Cut shapes with Scissors
Children will have a lot of fun cutting things with scissors. A lot of kids are afraid to cut things because they don’t want to ruin their papers. Practice makes perfect, so as your child practices cutting paper and other small objects, he will develop his fine motor abilities more and more. Scissors are an excellent way to teach your child to cut things using a straight line. It also helps improve his finger coordination as he uses both hands and fingers together in the cutting process. You can also tell your child to cut out different shapes, including circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles. They can practice holding a pair of scissors and cutting out different shapes.
6. Bath time play
Bath time play is fun, and it helps teach kids so many things. It’s a great way to help your child develop his fine motor skills because they will be practicing the movements of their hands and fingers as they try to play with their favorite toys in the tub. Use cups to pour out, squeaky rubber toys, or sponges to squeeze.
7. Build with blocks and Lego
You can use Blocks and Legos more than just building a house or a car model. They can also be used in designing small animals, people, creatures, and anything imaginable by your child’s imagination. These toys improve your kid’s fine motor skills because he has to learn how to hold each piece of the block carefully before putting them together. They also need to use their hand to precisely hold and place the blocks in the desired location.
8. Sand Play
Sand play is a fun way for your toddler to develop hand coordination, finger muscles, and grasp of objects. Plastic sand toys are perfect for kids because they don’t rust and can be cleaned easily afterward. Sand play can also help teach your child colors as he sifts through different colors of sand. It’s great for kids because it improves their ability to communicate by using gestures and words. They also improve their observational skills as they examine the details in each object they make using sand play. It’s a way for them to learn some shapes too.
9. Eye Dropper Tests
Using an eyedropper teaches your child how to use his hand muscles, accuracy, and patience. As he fills up the dropper with a small amount of water or milk, he will learn to control the dropper and squeeze it towards the target. He’ll need this skill for writing later in life.
10. Threading and lacing
Threading and lacing is an age-old fine motor skill activity that every child should learn to do properly. It helps improve your child’s eye-hand coordination, concentration, and attention. It is also a way for him to develop his hand muscles. You can also use threading and lacing as a fun game for your child by challenging them to find their way out using the thread and needle. Show them how to do it yourself first so they can imitate you.
These activities can help your child develop his fine motor skills. These are just some things you can do to help them develop the small muscles in their hands, fingers, and wrists. Keep in mind that these activities are good for your child’s development, but they won’t work overnight. It will take time for them to enhance their fine motor skills, so be patient!
Baby Steps Daycare supports you in your journey in helping your child become a well-rounded individual. We hope that this piece has helped you in your quest to improve your child’s fine motor skills. If you have further questions or concerns about this or any other matter regarding your child, you can get in touch with us, and we will be glad to assist you. Contact us today!