Building Fine Motor Skills in your child

When our children are young, their brains are still developing basic functions that as adults we take for granted. We do not remember the days where tying your shoe meant tantrums and needing help. We barely remember not being able to type on a computer, or pour a drink into a cup. The things that our parents, guardians and teachers taught us have become second nature and to think about not being able to do them is a mind blowing thought.

Basic activities that your child slowly learns how to execute like eating, writing, getting dressed and making the bed all rely on the hand-eye coordination and the muscle memory of how something goes. The fine motor skills that require the smallest muscles in the hand to work are key for a successful future for your child. The more experience that your child has, the more chances they can practice, the richer their experiences will be.

We work with your children in the classroom daily to promote these fine motor skills to the best of our ability as early childhood education is key to the future. While your child is with us for only a portion of the day, they are working, but fine motor skills must be practiced regularly in order for them to continue to form and function properly. In order to prepare your child for the tasks ahead like writing, using a mouse, typing or even tying their shoes requires honing of these fine motor skills. You can help at home with a few simple exercises that not only hone these skills, but will also help your child gain a sense of pride and independence in what they can do.

Exercises in the kitchen

When many parents worry about their kids in the kitchen, it is important that your child learn skills that they will need to know later down the line anyways. Activities like

  • Setting the table
  • Using forks, knives and spoons to eat their food
  • Pouring their own juice into a cup (with help if necessary!)
  • Helping to prepare the meal (levels that meet with the child’s ability, not too challenging. You don’t want them cutting themselves or others)
  • Cleaning the table after the meal

While you are in the kitchen working on getting things together for dinner, your child can help you while supervised. They will have “fun” while learning key aspects of adult life and training their fine motor skills.

Play time Activities

While they are playing during their everyday time, take the opportunity to have constructive play as well as “mindless” play so to speak. Allow you children to have their creative play, but also give them activities that not only nurtures their creativity but also hones their skills. Try providing your child with time to

  • Finger-paint (messy, fun, and skill building)
  • Play with playdough (have them help make homemade playdough for even more family fun and skills)
  • Make puzzles (their brain and motor skills with thank you!)
  • Play board games with your child (rules, motor skills and patience)
  • Allow them to, while supervised, cut with safety scissors.

All of these activities boost creativity, mental stamina as well as their motor skills while they are having fun. That is the best way to learn with your children. To see them smiling while they are progressing through stages of life makes the headaches worthwhile.

If your child is ready for early childhood education, call Wollaston Child Care today at 617-773-7217 to get information on our rates and school policies! We would love having your child here.