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Fine tuning your child's motor skills

Posted by: Sharmila Rajah, 16-Sep-2011

A recent comment from a reader on my blog prompted me to wonder about fine motor skills and how as parents we could help our kids enhance and master theirs. By motor skills we mean those ‘small, precise, thumb, finger, hand and wrist movements’. These are vital as they support a list of other very important physical and mental skills.

Here’s some of the simple things kids can do around the house to boost their fine motor skills:

-        Stacking blocks, sorting and stringing. Let your little one play with blocks of different sizes, shapes and colours which are great for those nimble fingers.

-        Simple household activity. Get them engaged in making breakfast or tea-time favourites like cupcakes and muffins. Ayanna helps out making breakfast by beating the egg or cracking it; stirring the batter and spreading the butter. Minimize the mess and spills by placing a mat on the kitchen floor and getting your toddler to wear an apron or an art-bib.

-        Getting dressed – Ayanna loves to try her hand by looping buttons through the button holes. Getting even just one through gets her all excited. Dressing up a toy is another way for your little one to practice their finger and hand coordination.

-        Filling up and dumping out- Shamindra does this using his toys. This is an important activity as your child learns that one object like a bucket can hold another object. Doing so with sand in your own sand pit or filling a bucket with water are some examples. Older kids can help out with the laundry by filling up the washing machine with clothes.

-        Painting and colouring; tearing and pasting; drawing and scribbling. Drawing with crayons is a great way to improve fine motor skills such as grasping and holding. Don’t forget finger painting.

-        Play dough – modeling and manipulating play-dough is a great way for little hands to build strength and agility. Let your little one roll, shape, punch and mold to their liking.




Most importantly step back and let them try their hand at simple tasks. With plenty of encouragement and support your little ones will find the time and space to learn and build on their motor skills.

 
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