How Can You Assist Your Child in Developing Fine Motor Skills?
Encourage and guide your child to master the top five fine motor skills to enhance their development. In today’s piece, I’ll explain what fine motor skills are and how you may include them into your baby’s daily routine so they can continue to develop.
Navigating your baby’s growth may be quite perplexing.
Moms are bombarded with terms like fine motor skills, gross motor skills, social-emotional development, and a slew of others. We simply want our children to grow up in a loving and safe atmosphere!
That is why it is critical to understand how to assist your child in developing fine motor abilities.
To that end, I’ve put together this useful resource to assist and guide you in the development of your baby’s fine motor abilities and to assist you in supporting their growth.
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What Are Fine Motor Skills
The tiny muscle groups in the hands, wrists, and fingers are involved in fine motor abilities.
This skill development begins with reflexive gripping in newborns and continues through school age with abilities such as writing with a pencil and cutting with scissors.
Their talents will increase and grow more complicated as their muscles and bones mature.
Fine motor abilities are more complicated than gross motor skills and need considerably more focus.
Large muscular groups, such as the core, leg, and arm muscles, are more involved in gross motor abilities. Foot dexterity is a talent that helps you run, walk, climb, and assist fine motor abilities.
What Do The Five Fine Motor Skills Entail?
Your infant will acquire five key fine motor skills, which include:
- Reflexive Grasp
- Twisting Objects
- Twisting Objects
- Using Eating Utensils
- Handwriting/Scissor Skills
These are not all of your child’s motor abilities, but they are the most important ones for his or her growth.
This is your baby’s initial fine motor skill. Because it is a reflex, your infant has had it since birth
If you place your finger in your baby’s hand, he or she will wrap his or her fingers around yours and squeeze or clampdown.
If you notice your infant is having trouble squeezing your finger, consult your doctor. This might suggest that they have a low muscle tone and require immediate assistance.
Between the ages of 4 and 6 months, your baby will be able to pick up objects with a pincer hold using their thumb and fingers.
Small bits like puffs and rice cereals can help your infant practise his skills when his or she starts eating solid foods.
Another fine motor skill that has to be trained is turning a doorknob or twisting a cap on and off.
Washing old big parmesan bottles and plastic seasoning bottles for your kid to play with and practise with is a great method for your child to work on his or her dexterity and muscles.
Handwriting And Scissor Skills
Handwriting abilities begin with scribbling and progress to forming shapes before your child is able to write letters.
Scissor skills don’t begin with a pair of scissors; instead, your child should begin by tearing up pieces of paper.
After that, use a pair of safety scissors to create little snips and then straight lines until your kid can cut complicated patterns and curves.
Using Eating Utensils
Self-feeding with a fork, spoon, or knife is all part of developing fine motor skills.
Children should begin using a spoon in their first year and advance to a fork by the age of 14-16 months.
Most children should be able to chop minor items on their dinner plate with a butter knife by the time they turn two.
Fair warning: unless they get better at it, their plate and clothing will be a shambles. So, be ready!
Toddler Fine Motor Skills Activities
Here are some activities to start adding in your weekly plan if you want to assist your child to improve fine motor skills:
Finger Foods That Help You Improve Your Pincer Grasp
Feeding themselves finger foods is the greatest way for newborns to practise utilizing their pincer grasp. Rice cereals, puffs, and even little cut-up bits of fruits and veggies are all good options.
Even if your schedule is jam-packed, fine motor development skill practice may be snuck in during meal/snack time.
Water Play For Dumping
Babies and toddlers like filling up little cups and buckets and dumping them out, whether at a water table or in the bath.
This turns out to be a fantastic fine motor skills activity! Adding basic items to bath time, such as measuring cups or little toy plastic buckets and teacups, can allow your baby to practise these abilities without making a mess.
Tearing paper with your hands is an excellent muscle builder and a stepping stone to scissor abilities.
Because construction paper breaks quickly and is too soft to create paper cuts, it is the perfect choice for your child.
To accomplish this, show your child how to shred paper so they may attempt it for themselves. You can use a variety of various coloured construction paper confetti to make fun mosaic art with your toddler by glueing it down once you have a bunch!
Chunky Crayons for Coloring
Larger items are easier for little hands to handle than smaller objects. Offer thick, fat crayons to help your toddler develop writing abilities.
For little hands, thicker crayons are preferable to a standard box of crayons since they let children gain a stronger grasp on them.
When your child begins to doodle and draw, add a piece of masking tape to keep the paper from moving, allowing your child to have low-frustration colouring time.
You may start teaching your child how to replicate shapes like circles and ovals after they have mastered scribbling. Then progress to forms having many sides, such as squares and triangles.
Your kid will be interested in stacking blocks around the age of six months. Not only is this a great practise for fine motor skills, but it also helps with hand-eye coordination! A stacking ring is a classic choice, but stacking cups are also appealing.
Your kid will begin stacking more and more blocks evenly during the following few months. Set aside some time to play with your child and settle down to construct a little tower. Learning these ideas is also aided by stacking towers of various forms and colours.
Don’t forget the most exciting part: toppling the tower!
Painting with your fingers
Teaching your child to finger paint serves as both fine motor skill and a sensory exercise.
Finger painting may appear to be as simple as sliding coloured pieces of whipped cream around on their high chair tabletop at first. If you don’t have the mental or physical space to cope with another mess, you may also allow your child to do finger painting in the bathtub. You may either create your own bathtub paints or buy some!
If your infant is still putting things in his or her mouth, prepare taste-safe finger paint with food colouring and whipped cream, or use a non-toxic vegetable paint alternative.
Putting Puzzles Together
Puzzles are a great way to practise not only fine motor skills but also visual reasoning.
You may give your very young child easier-to-assemble wooden shape puzzles. They’ll pick up the item with their pincer grasp and place it in the appropriate hole using their hand-eye coordination.
Smaller 6-12 piece puzzles are a great quiet time and fine motor skills activity once your child is a bit older. Put the puzzles together alongside them at first to show them how to manipulate the pieces so that they fit the image.
Any of the hefty Melissa & Doug wooden puzzles are excellent choices, and they last a long time.
Games for Fine Motor Skills
Many fine motor games are available for purchase if you wish to incorporate additional fine motor skills tasks into your daily routine.
Tweezer games, such as this adorable bee game, are excellent for developing pincer grip and prewriting abilities. Tweezers aid in the development of tiny hand muscles for subsequent handwriting.
This ring stacking moose helps younger children learn to hold things and placing them on pegs. This one appeals to me since it requires children to place the rings on the moose’s horns in various directions.
Another game that I recommend is Learning Resources’ fine motor fish. As they use their hands to place the stars in the sky, children develop hand strength and Pincer Grasp.
What Should I Do If My Toddler Is Having Trouble Developing Fine Motor Skills?
Some toddlers require more effort than others to develop their fine motor abilities naturally. Continue to model various activities and introduce new ones on a regular basis by:
Finding Ways To Have A Good Time
Adding a sensory aspect, like as finger painting, may be a fun approach to pique a child’s attention. That may be too much for some children.
Playing with your kid or creating art with them are both excellent methods to encourage your hesitant toddler to practise fine motor skills. We framed it as “tot school” for one of my children so that they felt as important as their siblings who were performing their “school work.”
Finding methods to make it entertaining will help pique their attention, but don’t ignore your gut if something doesn’t feel right.
Looking For Further Assistance
If you’re working with your child and see that they’re still having trouble developing their fine motor abilities, consult your doctor.
Fine motor abilities are a problem for some children with poor muscle tone. If they are having difficulty, it is not your fault; nonetheless, you may want expert assistance from an occupational therapist.
Every kid in the United States is entitled to a Free and Appropriate Education. This starts with early childhood intervention programmes, which assist children who are struggling to learn the skills they require.
An occupational therapist may be able to help your kid develop strength and dexterity via early childhood intervention.
Taking the time to help your infant develop these top 5 fine motor skills will not only teach them life skills, but it will also help them build diverse motor skill sets as they grow.