Simple and Fun Ways for You to Help Improve Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills at Home:
As parents, our daily responsibilities to keep our children safe, fed, clean, and loved can be daunting. With all that is already on our plate, how do we find time to tackle other skills related to our child’s academic learning and skills? We are sharing these simple ideas because we at Kids Club House are a community, and as a community, it is important that we share and support one another in our goals for our children and ourselves.
Fine motor skills are referred to as the control required to make more careful movements of smaller muscles. Developing fine motor control is a very important skill to master for handwriting and other pre-reading skills. The following ideas will not require going down a Pinterest rabbit hole or purchasing more toys that your child won’t play with; In fact, you may already be doing many of these things without even realizing it, (Pat yourself on the back!) or you can easily incorporate them into your already existing routines.
Here are some activity suggestions to help improve fine motor skills:
- Play Dough: Help strengthen your child’s hands as they pinch and squeeze. Hide objects in the dough and let your child use their thumbs and fingers to pinch the object free. Add plastic play scissors to cut the dough or cookie cutters to create fun shapes.
- Bath Time: Add an eye dropper or turkey baster to the tub toys. These require pinching and squeezing to collect water to squirt- but stand clear! Have little animal figurines in the tub? Encourage your child to clean the toys by squeezing soap from a little bottle and then wringing the water from a cloth.
- Cooked or Raw Spaghetti: Let your preschooler play with the pasta! By laying the spaghetti out to create designs and letters, they are strengthening their fine motor skills. You can also flip a colander upside down and have your child stick the raw spaghetti through the holes.
- Sorting: Have fun using just about anything that is small and requires using the thumb and pointer finger to pick up and place. Cheerios, beads, strands of yarn, pompoms, and Legos are some suggestions. Use an ice cube tray or little dishes for your child to categorize the items. Add a tweezers (larger plastic versions sold for kids) to give further opportunity to be more precise in their movement as then pinch and release.
- Shaving Cream or Pudding on a Cookie Sheet: This activity is a wonderful way to enjoy messy fun and still develop fine motor goals. What shapes or letters can be formed using a finger or unsharpened pencil as a writing tool?
- Tickets: Need permission to watch TV or go on tablet? Have your child write a ticket with a TV or TAB on it. Want a drink? Write J for juice or M for milk on the kitchen chalkboard. Give your preschooler various opportunities throughout their daily routine to use writing skills.
We have shared some of our ideas to strengthen fine motor skills at home. Do you have some ideas that work at your house? Please share them with us and we’ll be happy to add them to our list. We look forward to keeping this conversation going by sharing more learning topics and activities soon!