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Fine motor skills are essentially the ability to make movements and carry out tasks using the small muscles in our hands and wrists. Gross motor skills, on the other hand, involve the core muscles and those in the legs and arms, and are used in activities like walking, running, and jumping. Parents can help their children develop fine motor skills using a range of activities at home, which will ultimately help them become more competent at everyday tasks that most of us take for granted, like handling cutlery, buttoning our shirts, or tying our shoelaces. I have teamed up with a nursery in Amersham to share some ideas of activities you can do with your child at home to help support their development.
The Pincer Grasp
Encourage your little one to pick up small objects using their thumb and forefinger. This is called the pincer grasp and as the muscles in these fingers become stronger, your child will start to become better at holding pencils/cutlery etc with more control.
Arts & Crafts
Arty activities are great for helping strengthen the muscles in a child’s hands and wrists because they involve handling paint brushes, crayons, and even scissors. By the age of two, your child should be able to scribble and with plenty of practise, they will eventually be more controlled with their movements and will be able to draw shapes.
Next time your child has a bath, give them a sponge so that they can squeeze the water out. Plastic cups are also a good idea because they will give your child some practise in pouring liquid from one cup to another, which involves fine motor skills.
Encouraging your child to get outdoors is fantastic for many reasons. Not only is it important for them to get some fresh air and exercise, it’s also a chance for them to develop their fine motor skills. Give them some small (and safe) tools to use and encourage them to plant seeds, dig and use a watering can.
Puzzles & Board Games
Jigsaws and board games are great for helping with fine motor skills because they involve picking up tiny pieces and moving them to an appropriate place. They are also great for things like concentration and patience.
These are just a few ideas to get you started and you’re probably already doing lots more to help your child with their fine motor skills. It’s important to give them some space and independence when they’re doing things like getting dressed or eating their dinner, because if you swoop in and save the day every time, your child will never learn. Practise makes perfect, as they say!Follow me on social media for more!
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