5 Activities to Develop Fine Motor Skills in Children

Fine motor skills involve fine movements of the hands, such as using pencils, and scissors, building with Lego blocks, and more.

The efficiency of fine motor skills influences both the quality and the speed of the task outcome. It requires a number of independent skills to effectively manipulate an object or accomplish a task using fine motor skills. It’s important that your child acquires effective fine motor skills at an early age.

Fine motor skills are important for a variety of reasons:

Fine motor skills are necessary for both academic and everyday activities, as they are essential for performing tasks that require precision and dexterity. When children cannot perform these everyday tasks, their self-esteem suffers, their academic performance is compromised, and their play options are severely limited. Furthermore, they cannot develop appropriate independence in terms of life skills (such as getting dressed and eating), which has social implications for both the family and peers.

We can help our children develop fine motor skills at home or in childcare/classroom settings by setting up simple activities that help develop their fine motor skills. Before using scissors and pencils in a classroom setting, young children should be able to hold and use them appropriately. If a child’s hand and fingers haven’t yet gained the strength necessary for writing, we can’t expect them to be able to do it. Best kindergarten schools incorporate these activities in their curriculum for pre-primary and primary children.

PLAY DOUGH:

One of the best open-ended toys is playing dough since it allows children to create almost anything they can imagine. As it encourages a variety of methods to use their hand strength, it’s also a great approach to train their fine motor skills.

But, simply placing a cup of play dough in front of them may be insufficient to hold their attention. Instead, lead them through easy play dough exercises before letting their imaginations run wild. You can give them a child friendly knife to cut the dough, make small balls by rolling it in their hands, roll the dough to make ‘snakes’, and mix different colours to the play dough will make it more attractive.

DRAWING AND PAINTING:

Children exercise and build the small muscles in their hands, wrists, and fingers as they manipulate various painting and drawing tools.

This is crucial for teaching children how to hold pencils and pens for writing in school and for turning pages of books while reading. Children who paint with brushes, learn how to hold a brush and have more control over it when they use it as a tool.

STRINGING BEADS:

Threading or stringing beads is a great activity for young children. Threading can be challenging for children when they start and will take time for them to master it. It also depends on their maturity and their fine motor development. However, with practice and over a period of time they will develop better control and be able to thread even smaller-sized beads. Threading is a great technique to build their finger muscles and learn how to control their fingers as they work together.

 PLAYING WITH SPONGES AND WATER:

All that is required is a clean piece of sponge, two bowls, and water. Fill one bowl with water and let another bowl be empty. Encourage your child to dip and soak the sponge in water and then transfer it to the empty bowl by squeezing the water. This simple but fun activity helps strengthen hands and forearms.

 TEARING PAPER:

Most parents are looking for easy ways to develop their children’s fine motor skills, and the very material that can accomplish this is right in their own homes. Are you aware that you can improve your fine motor skills by tearing paper? The only thing you need for this fine motor activity is scrap paper and your hands. Tearing a piece of paper improves hand strength and endurance in the small muscles in the hand. Fine motor skills, such as handwriting and coloring, rely heavily on these intrinsic muscles.

Few Helpful Tips:

  • Keep the games entertaining and interesting. If they don’t seem interested try again the following day or with a different activity
  • Keep the activities short. A few minutes a day should be okay unless your child is interested in doing more. One activity one day is preferred instead of cramming 10 activities all at once.
  • Don’t put pressure on your child. Anxiety and pressure will only make your child dislike doing the activities. Just include them when they are in the mood.
  • Practice everyday tasks. Chores like putting the buttons on a shirt or pulling small weeds from a garden can help build their hand muscles and pincer grasp.