Develop Fine Motor Skills with 5 Easy Activities in the Early Years

As a parent there are many activities to encourage your children to do at home  developing fine motor skills. Remember the first 5 years are so important for building foundation skills.

Studies recently have shown there is an decrease in foundation skills necessary to be school ready. Teachers are noticing that once a child starts school they haven’t the fine motor skills. So they are spending more time developing these important skills rather than on lessons.

Allowing your child to explore, giving them time to use their hands and figure out activities on their own. Believe it or not taking children back to basic away from the technology or educational applications on tablets, mobiles, etc. Allows them to develop instrumental fine motor skills, ready for school or even just ready for everyday living.

In an article ” Losing our grip: More students entering school without fine motor skills” by Kimberly Marselas

“Today’s children also spend less time outside, where they might have more opportunities to explore how their bodies move through space, learn to balance and figure how to handle toys and tools in relation to one another.

Some parents, says Cunningham, are afraid to let their children engage in physical play or cut with scissors. Others have traded in the messiness of hands-on play dough for a sterile “educational” tablet.

“Rather than sit and color the way they used to do, our kids are part of the burst of technology,” says Cunningham. “It’s amazing to see a kid who can swipe an iPad, but you put a pair of scissors in their hand and they don’t know what to do.”

Below are our top 5 activities you can do at home with your child to make sure they build the necessary fine motor skills, concentration, exploration, curious ready for a school environment;

1. Fold, Tear and crunch paper – Encourage your child to crunch and tear paper especially as a toddler you can crunch or tear paper in their hands and put it in a box. Developing the fine motor control.

2. Building blocks (age appropriate) or linking cubes – Encourage your child to use explore using their hands to design a structure.  (Many different kinds of building blocks as a teacher we used Edx Education linking cubes)

3.  Use child friendly scissors –  Encourage your child to use scissors and experiment cutting paper and making shapes. (with adult supervision)

4. Sand, water or just messy play – Exploring, developing fine motor control through play, exciting the senses through messy play. Try pouring water through a sieve, making bubbles with dishwashing liquid, using shaving foam, making sand castles or even just being curious with messy play, minimal structure just free play. Use buckets,bowls or just the sink/ bath at home.  (with adult supervision)

5. Play dough – Manipulating play dough with a child’s hands uses all the different fine motor skills, builds coordination and confidence for a child. Encourage your child to play, squeeze, manipulate and use their hands with play dough. (Make it at home here is a receipe) 

Children may  find it frustrating the first time they start a new activity. However persist the  more time they have to explore. The more advanced they will become with their  fine/gross motor skills, balance, coordination and many more.

Let’s try to move away from technology in the early years and build our children’s foundation skills ready for school through play outside the house in the backyard, park, beach or inside the house through play.

Encourage your child to use their imagination, become curious about the world, explore their surroundings, be active and learn through play. 

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