We might not give much thought to the dexterity and fine motor control it takes to use a pencil – but these are essential qualities we all learned in early age. We use our fine motor skills for everyday functions like gripping and operating small items. When a child practises their fine motor skills, they’re creating connections between their eyes and the small muscles in their fingers, hands and wrists.
The importance of motor skills in child development
Developing fine motor skills is so important in early age, as they allow a child to work towards more advanced skills such as drawing and writing. So how can we help a child build their fine motor coordination and strength?
The great news is that many of the everyday activities your child experiences are contributing to robust fine motor skills. Here are some of them.
One of the very first activities in the morning is great for developing detailed hand-to-eye coordination. Actions such as fastening Velcro tabs and doing up buckles, zippers and buttons all help to build these qualities.
Cooking in the kitchen
There are so many kitchen activities that can help to develop fine motor skills, including stirring, shaking, measuring ingredients and chopping. Even setting the table can help to develop these skills and strengths as little hands grasp cups, plates and cutlery.
Playing with smaller toys
Smaller toys such as Lego or building blocks can provide plenty of fun opportunities to focus on the smaller finger and hand muscles, including holding toys, putting different elements together, pulling them apart and balancing separate components.
Colouring and crafts
Drawing, painting with fingers or brushes, folding craft paper, playing with playdough and cutting paper with child-safe scissors – these all help little minds and hands to form important connections and dexterity, for robust fine motor skills in child development.
Getting into the garden
Planting seeds, nurturing seedlings and harvesting herbs and vegetables all require a gentle and detailed touch. These activities let little ones develop fine motor skills while they learn about sustainability and the natural environment.
As well as fine motor skills it’s also vital to consider child development in gross motor skills, which involve the larger muscles such as arms, legs and core muscles. We understand just how important these diverse capabilities are, which is why at Aurrum Kids we’ve developed each safe and healthy learning environment and our age-tailored programs to incorporate fun and function-building activities.
We’d love for your family to explore our Mornington or Ballarat centres and meet our early learning educators. Contact us today to set up the best time to suit you.