Fine motor skills dictate almost all of our daily life tasks – from getting out of bed in the mornings, brushing your teeth, buttoning up our shirts, putting on clothes and eating food, to name just a few things our hands do for us.
When we’re very young, though, these skills have to be practiced and practiced again and again to make sure that we have honed them for when we grow older. As we grow into toddler age, teenager age and beyond we use our hands and fingers for a lot of different things that will become natural to us.
To teach our children how to use their fine motor skills, there’s a lot of play activity involved and continued practice. Read this guide from this boarding school in West Sussex for the best ways to teach your child.
A familiar favourite for parents is by giving children putty, play dough, or slime or a similar texture and consistency for children to play with. With play dough children can make all sorts of shapes, pull apart pieces of clay and roll out dough into the balls, making houses or anything they can imagine. It’s a great way of testing a child’s skills with their hands and fingers, as well as seeing where your child’s hands can go with feeling and reacting to unique textures.
Lots of jigsaw puzzles will give your child the chance to use not just their fine motor skills, but also their critical thinking ability. This gives children the chance to hold onto smaller pieces and work out exactly where pieces should match and go. Sometimes they’ll get it wrong the first time, but it’s all a part of learning.
Using pencils or crayons will give your child the chance to hold things that are different shapes and sizes. Colouring teaches your child how to use pencils in different stroking motions in order to make the desired effect on the paper. Crayons have a different texture and appearance that children can also experiment with. Pressing harder on pencils or crayons also makes the colours more intense on the page.