Fine Motor Skills

Monday, March 9, 2020

Fine motor skills are defined as the coordination between small muscles, like those of the hands and fingers, with the eyes. Fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the body that enable such functions as writing, grasping small objects and fastening clothing.   Your child's mastery of fine motor skills will allow them greater independence. 

These skills are so important in your child's development and anytime you can give them added practice will benefit them.  Whether you are reading this as a young mom or a preschool teacher I hope I can answer some questions you may have regarding the importance of this skill.

Why is it so important?  Fine motor skills are essential to have in place to be successful at everyday life skills.  For instance tying your shoes, holding a pencil, cutting, coloring, writing, etc.  These are all academic examples, but also brushing one's teeth, eating (cutting with a knife, using a fork) , buttoning and unbuttoning clothing and playing are all examples of when and how fine motor skills can be used in everyday life.

It's important to carve out time in your toddler's, or young child's life to build these skills up and strengthen them.  Some examples include:
*informal play time ( legos, blocks, dressing dolls,puzzles, etc. )
*coloring, gluing, painting
*touching, clapping, fingerplays
*using zippers, straps

Other ideas:
* teach your child or student how to properly perform the 'pincher grasp'. Examples:  picking up cheerios, turning knobs, switches, dials etc.

* give them opportunities to squeeze something.  That is a different sensation with the hands.  Give them a wet sponge and squeeze it over the sidewalk, also give them a paintbrush and a pail of  water.  They will have a blast painting the sidewalk and it will dry and disappear.

* teach your child finger plays...they are a lost art.  With you tube and videos and songs it seems the old nursery rhymes have gone out the window.  BUT research has shown that rhyming carries a lot of importance and is a precursor to being successful at reading.  So, look up some finger plays and get busy.  The itsy, bitsy spider is a great one to start with and here are a couple others you might like:

fine motor skills for kids

Some other ideas that are very helpful are having your student or child practice cutting or tracing things, I have some things to help you as well:

fine motor skills tracing practice

fine motor skills tracing practice

fine motor skills tracing practice

These packs are perfect for 'little hands' you can find them here:

Have fun with your child/student and make these skills fun through play and some structured practice time too.

Happy teaching!