How to Develop Fine Motor Skills For Your Pre-schooler?
Created by Sugandha Tiwari Updated on Dec 19, 2020
It is really good to see your toddler achieving all his or her milestones steadily and one of the milestones he or she will start achieving is the deft use of his or her fingers and hands in whole. The finger deftness will help your child in holding a pencil or crayon, eat his or her food on own, holding something either with hands or tweezers. And this is the time when you as parents can help in developing these skills. But before you know about the activities to develop fine motor skills let’s see what are fine motor skills and how you as parents can help in developing fine motor skills in your child.
What Are Fine Motor Skills?
Fine motor skills – another area of development that plays a crucial role in living an independent life. They are achieved when children learn to use their smaller muscles in the hands, fingers and wrists. These skills are developed after gross motor skills like independent sitting, walking, jumping, running etc. Also Read: Tips to Development Gross Motor Skill in Pre-schooler
What Is Parent's Role In The Development Of Skills?
Till the time your toddler reaches grade 1, his/her focus will be more on the process to do things rather than the final product. He/she wants you to just provide material like a facilitator and play with them, if you have any other question from them then sorry they will always not have an answer, at least not what you want to hear. For instance-- Your toddler would make something out of the play dough and you ask him/her “What have you made”? He/she may not be able to tell you. Nevertheless for him/her it’s still a masterpiece.
Nonetheless, it’s quite important for you to provide quality if not quantity opportunities to your toddler to explore his/her world around. You need to let him/her just be there. Remember simply buying expensive or branded colours, books or toys will never serve the purpose, when I say, just be there, I mean let him/her be under your supervision and experienced guidance and mentoring. All the material around is useless without you.
What Your Pre-Schooler Is Able To Do By Now?
Here is a list of 13 things your pre-schooler/toddler will be able to do on his or her own.
- Tearing, cutting and pasting large pieces of paper
- Holding objects with hands and tweezers and stringing beads
- Pick up big blocks and objects
- Rolling, shaking and clapping of hands
- Touch tips of fingers
- Build a tower of 10 blocks
- Complete 5- 6 piece simple puzzle
- Colour and draw with pencil and both thick and thin crayons
- Copy a circle or cross onto a piece of paper
- Cut out simple shapes with scissor though not accurately
- Feed self with hands and spoon/folk
- Button and unbutton large loop buttons
- Operate a zipper of pants/bag
What Are The Activities To Develop Fine Motor Skills In Your Toddler?
There are few activities that you can introduce your toddler to in order to develop his or her fine motor skills.
- Sorting and stacking: As your child is sorting blocks, beads and shapes of different colours and sizes, he/she will simultaneously begin stacking large blocks and constructing a tower with them. When he/she is doing the sorting and stacking activity, one you can provide blocks of different colours and patterns if available and two let your child draw and create designs from the readymade booklet or sheet that comes in the box
- Drawing and colouring: How many of you have walls in your home with your babies early strokes of creativity? Hahahahahah! Well, that’s what pre-schoolers are supposed to do, their delicate fingers and exploring mind is just going to paint anything and everything. Drawing and colouring are important skills in fine motor development. They are not just expanding your child’s imagination and creativity but also giving a good exercise to the hand muscles in making large strokes, exploring the boundaries and carefully colouring within boundaries. Along with regular drawing on paper you may also provide some textures like sand, rice etc. or play body games where you and your child take turns to draw on each other’s body and then guess. This will add more fun and some thinking work for the brain
- In and out: Filling up a container with a liquid or solid is an important cognitive exercise, your child is beginning to understand that one object can hold the other. It requires a lot of concentration and precision to accurately fill up a container specially while pouring a liquid. And once this is achieved, he/she will instantly dump out the same thing that went inside another container. Provide big and small boxes. Beads, blocks and buttons for the same. When she/he wants to play with water you can make accomodations accordingly. The skill can be made more challenging further by encouraging him/her to drop and pour things in containers/bottles with a slightly narrow neck or top
- Manipulating utensils and containers: Allow them to do this; it’s so much fun for them. Let her/him open jars, boxes, tumblers etc. Let them bang utensils against each other and stimulate their hand muscles and auditory senses. Let them manipulate eating with spoon and forks, open a bottle and drop some liquid onto their clothes. Yes for sure all this will increase your work but some dedicated time of the day for this is certainly not too much to ask for, after all it’s the demand of your babies age which will not come back again
- Dressing and undressing: Along with academic tasks goes the skills of daily living. One of the key skills is that of dressing and undressing. Your child most probably will start undressing first. Putting on clothes is a slightly more complicated task since it involves accurate awareness of left and right side of the body, right and wrong side of the garment and so on. To begin with you can have him/her dress and undress a toy, this will also give a good practice in finger and hand coordination and positioning of body parts. If your child is enjoying the dressing and undressing activity, you can also provide a carton of your’s or dad’s old clothes
- Tearing and using tweezers: Allow ample opportunities to tear paper with free hand, add colourful paper, tissues etc. You do not have to waste fine papers for this purpose, old scrap is perfect for this activity. The torn and crumbled pieces can then be used in sticking and pasting activities. Provide tweezers to pick and drop in a box. The finger and hand control required in holding and manoeuvre tweezers will be a good exercise
- Stringing beads: Last but not the least is the stringing of beads or large loop buttons. This one activity is excellent for eye hand coordination, developing of pincer grasp, concentration and attention
- Solve a puzzle: Get your toddler some simple animals or letter puzzles and see how he or she enjoys playing with it. You can make your own puzzle using an old cardboard sheet and some pictures and alphabets
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