As parents, you play a critical role in your child’s fine motor skill development. The most important thing you can do is to provide opportunities that are fun and interactive for your child. Developing fine motor skills in early childhood education helps build the foundation for important future skills like writing and self-care. In this article we’ll walk you through the importance of fine motor skills and what you can do to help your child build them.
Importance of Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills involve the use of the small muscles that control the hand, fingers, and thumb. They help children perform important tasks like feeding themselves, grasping toys, buttoning and zipping clothes, writing, drawing, and more. The ability to complete self-care and every day tasks helps a child’s self esteem and confidence to increase.
It’s important to start working with children on building their fine motor skills early on. Fine motor skills will develop and improve as they move through childhood. It just takes the right kind of practice.
Some children may struggle with performing tasks that use their fine motor skills. This can cause them to become frustrated and upset when they can’t complete every day tasks. For example, a child may have a difficult time holding scissors and cutting along a dotted line. This could cause them to be frustrated at the task and avoid cutting exercises because they feel it’s too difficult.
We’ll show you some great activities to help build your child’s fine motor skills that are fun, engaging, and can help get children over the frustrated bump of giving up.
Activities to Develop Fine Motor Skills
- Coloring / Drawing
- Using Glass Jewels
- Activities with Snap Cubes
- Play Dough Activities
- Sorting Pom Poms / Objects with Play Tweezers
Free Play Activities
- Building with Legos and Blocks
- Dressing Dolls
- Playing Games like Operation and Lite-Brite
- Beading Necklaces
- Drawing with Sidewalk Chalk
- Playing with Play Dough
- Tying Shoes
- Buttoning and Zipping Shirts and Jackets
- Eating and Cutting Food
- Brushing Hair and Teeth
- Using the Toilet
Fine motor skills gradually build for children as they do activities to help strengthen their muscles and coordination. Make sure to keep the fine motor activities fun and change it up for your child! The more they want to play and explore with activities that build their fine motor skills, the more precise their movements will be.