Improve your child’s Fine Motor Skills
Fine Motor skills are the skills that we perform with the small muscles that are found in our hands. Whenever we write something down, use our fingers to pickup objects, using a spoon and a fork when eating or even when we are just unbuttoning our shirts, these are a few activities that require us to use our fine motor muscles.
When my son started to attend a session with an Occupational Therapist 2 years ago, his fingers were so weak that he can’t even scribble and hold a pencil for a long time. When his OT asked him to color, he usually rolls the crayons or just read the colors written on them. He doesn’t want to hold it at all. The OT gave me some tips on how to make his fine motor muscles stronger.
Playing with clay – make different objects with the clay. Press it, roll it, cut it or simply squeeze it, these things all require the use of the hand’s small muscles.
Tearing some paper or crumple it – my son loves to do this, but make sure to use scratch paper in doing this.
Cutting paper using scissors – Begin by drawing a straight line that will be his guide when cutting. As he gains more experience, you can draw curved lines next. Be sure to use child-friendly scissors.
Using spray to water the plants – You hit 2 birds in one stone with this one, by using the water spray – he is already helping you in watering the plants and doing so can help him have stronger hand muscles. At first, my son used two hands in doing this, one to hold the bottle and the other one press the spray, but after a while, he can already do it using just one hand.
Lacing – I bought wooden lacing animals and alphabets at Toy Kingdom for him to practice. You can make one yourself if you can’t find one. Get a board, cut out animal shapes, fruits, or anything you want. Punch some holes on the edges and then ask your child to thread a yarn.
Peeling stickers- I usually buy books that have a sticker sheet.
Lego/Megablocks/Dominoes – or anything that they can use their imagination to build something.
Peg Boards/Puzzle games – This will improved his hand eye coordination too.
Paint/Doodle- I have a lot of choices for this activity. I allow him to put his hands in water color and then I ask him to use it to draw his favorite cartoon character or anything in a manila paper or cartolina. Sometimes he use brushes and sometimes a water doodle (read about his water doodle HERE)
Scooping game – We use macaroni shell in doing this. I give him a bowl of macaroni and then he will transfer it to another bowl using a spoon. This will help him to practice holding the spoon properly while eating.
Sorting game – Make him sort objects based on their colors, shapes or sizes.
You need to be creative in helping your child. My son easily gets bored so I am always on the look out to find new and exciting things and activities for him to do.
Do you have some activities at home that help your kids develop their fine motor skills that I haven’t mentioned here? Please share it with us.