fine motor skills

Fun Ways to Improve Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills

Posted on October 31, 2018 : Posted in Legacy Academy, Parenting Tips

fine motor skills

Fine motor skills are the skills that allow your child to accurately use the small muscles in his or her hands, wrists, and arms. These skills are essential for many daily tasks, such as writing, getting dressed, playing games, and personal hygiene. Children develop these skills at different rates, and there is a wide range of normal development. However, there are fun and easy ways you can help your child, regardless of age or ability, to hone and develop his or her fine motor skills. Here are some simple activities to explore together.

Whole-Body Activities

While it may seem counterintuitive, your child’s fine motor skills depend on the strength of his larger muscles. For this reason, it is important to encourage your child to play in big and active ways. Swimming, playing on the playground, running, jumping, and climbing all encourage the growth and strengthening of important muscle groups in your child’s body. These muscles, in turn, lend strength and stability to the smaller muscles that operate fine motor skills.

Be Artistic

Many artistic endeavors require the participation and control of the smaller, finer muscles. Drawing, coloring, painting, sculpting, and cutting all engage the help of fine motor skills. Every child will have different interest and skill levels in these activities, so don’t worry if your child isn’t excited to participate. Instead, look for ways to get them involved. If they don’t like sitting at a table to make art, try painting on an easel. Instead of coloring, try using sidewalk chalk. Sculpting can be done with playdough inside or with sand in the sandbox. There is a myriad of ways that art can be formed.

Integrate Fine Motor Skills into Daily Tasks

There are many parts of daily life that require fine motor skills. Encourage your child to take responsibility for tasks like using utensils at meals, fastening buttons, snaps, and zippers, or buckling her car seat. Even if she only attempts these tasks without success, she is giving a small workout to the muscles she needs to develop. Additionally, when she completes them herself, it will be a great day for her confidence.

Offer Building Opportunities

One of the best sorts of play for practicing fine motor skills is building. Whether it is with small or large materials, the act of stacking, balancing, and adjusting a creation will require your child to use the smaller muscles in their hands and arms. Of course, building toys hold many other benefits as well, since they encourage creativity, problem-solving, and open-ended play. When you have the opportunity, look for building materials that interlock and require force to stick together. This encourages your child to isolate and engage the smallest muscles in his hands and fingers.

Use Everyday Items to Strengthen Small Muscles

You may be amazed to know that there are many wonderful tools for fine motor development already in your home. Encourage your child to play with rubber bands, lids, pipe cleaners, and beads. Make a paper clip chain together, or push cotton balls through the holes in an old parmesan jar lid. Use tweezers to move pom poms from one container to another. All of these activities are fun and exciting while being affordable and developing great motor skills.

As children grow, their motor skills become more and more crucial for their overall success. Schoolwork, personal tasks like bathing and dressing, playing sports, and other hobbies or interests require them to have strong and nimble hands. By giving your child the opportunity to practice using fine motor skills at a young age, you prepare them for many tasks they will encounter in later years. Are you looking for childcare that emphasizes these sorts of skills and learning? If so, please consider Legacy Academy Roswell. With a highly-trained staff and an abundance of creative outlets for children, we aim to help every child reach his or her full potential.