Fine motor skills sound important, but what exactly are they? And why are they so important for children? When we talk about fine motor skills, what we mean is use of the small muscles in the hand, fingers and thumb. This area is responsible for a number of important tasks relating to a child’s learning, self-care and self-esteem. Some examples include buttoning clothes, picking up toys, writing, drawing, and feeding themselves. When a child cannot complete everyday tasks with ease, they can get frustrated and give up trying to do the task. This leads to low confidence levels. That’s why it’s so important for children to develop their fine motor skills as they grow. Here are some ideas that you can implement in your child care centre to help children develop their fine motor skills.
Activities that help children practice holding implements and using them successfully will help build their fine motor skills. For example, using scissors, colouring in using pencils, or writing using pens or pencils.
To strengthen those small fine motor muscles, why not set an activity using play doh or plasticine? It will be fun for the kids while also building strength in their hands as they squeeze, twist and shape the material to their liking.
Build skills by getting the children to play with paper. They can make pom poms, thread beads, cut out and stick shapes of different colours, or scrunch up tissue paper to make flower heads for an art project.
If you have an ideal outdoor space at your childcare centre, you can even get the children developing fine motor skills by planting seedlings or pulling out weeds from garden beds. Watering plants is another good exercise to develop the small hand muscles.
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