Fine Motor Skills
Ideas for Supporting development of Fine Motor Skills
Children who have issues with fine motor skills have a hard time developing strong muscles in their hands and wrists. Here are ideas for activities that can help them build the muscles needed for fine motor skills.
- Play-dough. Handling play-dough also develops some important skills. Squeezing and stretching it helps strengthen finger muscles, and touching it is a valuable sensory experience.
- Using finger paint can strengthen your child’s hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. All you need is an easel or a thick piece of paper, some finger paints and a space where your child can get messy. Putting the paper on a vertical surface like an easel or wall helps to develop the muscles in the wrists. Any painting or drawing activities are excellent for developing fine motor skills
- Set up two separate bowls, one filled with water and the other empty. Give your child a sponge and have her soak it in one bowl. Then have them squeeze the water out of the sponge into the other bowl. They can transfer water back and forth between bowls, too. This simple game can strengthen hands and forearms. It’s especially fun if you throw in some bubbles or some food dye.
- Difficulties with fine motor skills can make it tough to grip a pencil. Colouring with small, broken crayons encourages your child to hold the crayon correctly—between her thumb and forefinger. Small pieces of chalk and the pencils used on mini-golf courses work well, too. No matter what you use, this activity a fun way to challenge your child.
- Stringing together necklaces is a great way for your child to be creative while working on their hand-eye coordination and developing their ability to manipulate objects. To start, give thick string and big beads or large pieces of dry pasta. Over time, they can work on more complex designs using smaller pieces.
- Building toys, lacing, pegboards, blocks, transformers and puzzles are just a few examples of toys that require small finger movement and develop strength and control.
- Ripping paper and using tweezers can help prepare the child for holding and using scissors. Learning to cut is a long process. Sometimes small child-sized self- opening scissors can help. Begin with single snips on stiff paper and gradually progress to cutting lines etc.
- Spreading with a knife strengthens the index finger. Encourage children to butter their own toast etc.