Top Tips for Improving Children’s Fine Motor Skills
Interested in Improving Children’s Fine Motor Skills? We have spoken to some amazing kids activity providers and small businesses to tell us about their Top Tips for Improving Children’s Fine Motor Skills.
Fine Motor Skills with The Little Gym
Simply put, fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscle movement. It is the ability to move the hands, fingers and wrists in a range of different ways. They help us perform simple tasks and make everyday life easier! Examples of fine motor skills are things like holding a pencil, typing, using cutlery or brushing our teeth.
How do we develop them?
To perform all the tasks listed above as an adult with ease, we have to make sure we develop these skills as a child. There are many ways we can help our children improve their fine motor skills at home such as playing with Play-Doh, doing puzzles, colouring/painting, playing with toys in the bath and sand play.
At The Little Gym we have a vast range of gymnastics equipment made for kids to develop their gross motor skills and fine motor skills at the same time. That’s why you’ll see children climbing, swinging, trying the parallel bars and exploring the gym during every class.
The first type of grip to develop is the pincer grip at around 9/10 months. This grip is the action of closing the thumb and index finger together to hold an object. This is a very important stage of development that will lead onto harder tasks such as writing, holding cutlery and tying shoelaces.
How do Gross Motor skills develop Fine Motor Skills?
Everything starts from the core. When your little ones are babies, one of the first things to develop is their core. This is done by tummy time, high kneeling and crawling. It is essential that your children develop these muscles so they can move the rest of their body.
Once your child is up and crawling/walking around, they are developing their gross motor skills (big movements i.e. walking, running and jumping) and start to become more efficient in their movement. After these big movements have developed and the muscles are formed in the shoulders, upper/lower arms, hands and fingers, fine motor skills in their hands begin to develop.
Why should you be happy about messy mealtimes?
Sounds silly, right? Who is happy about more mess? The reason we should be happy is because our little ones are developing so much. Exploring how to eat with their hands, grip their bottles and eventually start to use a spoon. So yes, more mess – but also more development.
How can The Little Gym improve my child’s Fine Motor Skills?
Every lesson at The Little Gym will help improve your children’s skills. The range of activities that take place throughout the class build up those muscles and improve their coordination. Skills such as swinging on the bar, climbing and playing with small equipment (beanbags, balls & hoops) are all challenging those muscles through play. The children are becoming super strong and co-ordinated whilst having lots of fun!
For a taste of The Little Gym head to www.youtube.com/thelittlegymuk and find your nearest The Little Gym here. Classes operate daily for children aged 4 months to 12 years. We’re looking forward to seeing you.
Top tips for improving children’s fine motor skills with Razzamataz Theatre Schools
Did you know that taking part in a dance, drama or singing class has a whole host of benefits for pre-schoolers? Children that attend Razzamataz Theatre Schools actually learn how to improve their fine motor skills through play and fun activities.
Our teachers will often use a prop which requires a simple throwing and catching game, which helps to develop the fine motor skills that children need to hold a pencil and ultimately write with. Dance supports a child’s motor and cognitive development without it feeling like work. Movement during our classes, such as opening and closing hands, stimulates muscle controls in the fingers and requires great brain concentration for little ones.
Young children learn best through hands-on activities and a dance teacher will encourage children to follow their movements, concentrating on the movement of the smaller muscle groups in their hands, fingers and wrists. Re-enacting every day scenes in drama, such as brushing your teeth or combing your hair, will also encourage young children to develop their imagination as well as their fine motor skills.
Looking for your local Razzamataz Class – www.razzamataz.co.uk/
Interested to find out more about Razz Tots – www.razzamataz.co.uk/
Top Tips for Improving Children’s Fine Motor Skills:
Fine motor skills are the coordination of movement in small muscles. It is beneficial to practice these skills as they help to develop muscle memory and lay the foundation for academic learning in later years.
Here are some top tips for refining fine motor skills in your children:
- Practice the Pincer Grasp – Eg: Use the thumb & forefinger to pick up peas from a plate.
- Punch holes into paper with a stationery punch
- Play with Playdough & putty – This activity strengthens the hands. The wrists gain strength with the continuous moulding action.
- Ask your child to help you prep meals (stirring, pouring etc)
- Thread beads – This activity is great because it requires concentration, thinking skills, & encourages the use of the pincer grasp
- Take rubber bands on & off food cans
- Push & pull pipe cleaners through a colander
- Cut and tear paper into small pieces. – Activity idea: Peel the paper off old crayons and then melt the crayons into shapes
- Play with building blocks
- Fasten buttons & learn to use zippers
- Paint – Use an array of brush sizes with thick & thin handle grips
- Take lids on & off plastic containers
Keep in mind that some children might develop these skills earlier and have better coordination than others. If your child seems to be slower with their development, be patient, keep practicing, they will get there in their own time. It is important not to compare them to the progress of others.
Maintain an open line of communication between yourself & your child’s educator regarding the progress of these skills. Should evaluation by a specialist be recommended, this will determine if his/her fine motor skills are a concern and what therapy would be necessary to improve them.
Moulding Little Minds: Home-schooling resources for toddlers
About Moulding Little Minds:
Moulding Little Minds is a UK based small business selling educational resources for children aged 3- 7. Whether you are home-schooling your children or need extra supplementation for schoolwork, Moulding Little Minds has an array of activities that will assist in your child’s educational development. Busy binders (sticky dot activities), flashcards, tracing mats, pintables & special needs resources are some of the items you will find in the online store.
Visit www.mouldinglittleminds.co.uk to browse their catalogue.
You can also follow me on Instagram – @moulding_little_minds
Get hands-on with fine motor fun and Learning Resources®
Children’s natural way of learning and developing is through play. Introducing activities that encourage children to practise fine motor skills through hands-on play is a great way to help your child refine these essential abilities and keep them engaged and learning.
The play experts at Learning Resources® have developed lots of fun toys and games to support children’s natural development including the fine motor skills they need to tie a shoelace, fasten buttons, and hold a pencil.
Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog™ is an award-winning fine motor skills toy for toddlers that is ideal for helping young children practise grasping and hand-eye coordination when they grab, hold and insert Spike’s colourful quills.
The best-selling Sand & Water Fine Motor Tool Set and Twisty Droppers™ are top choices for messy play, creative play, and sensory fun. Use them for indoor and outdoor play to build fine motor skills while having fun.
Visit here to view the full Fine Motor Skills range.
Why are motor skills so important? – Boobo Toys
Fine motor skills are used to perform precise actions such as “grabbing tweezers” (using the thumb and index finger) to manipulate small objects. Mastering fine motor skills require the development of muscles that are smaller than the ones used for gross motor skills.
Fine motor skills play a critical role in the development of your baby. They are directly related to the development of speech, for instance. Additionally, in the future, the child will also require these skills in order to draw, write, dress, etc.
In addition to these fundamental skills, fine motor skills also affect the development of the following:
- independence and self-sufficiency
- thinking processes
- logical thinking
Formation of motor functions, including subtle hand movements, happens during the child’s interaction with the world around him, which is full of various objects. And here our developmental toys are to help, namely Busy Cubes and Busy boards, to attract the attention of a child we use the most entertaining developmental elements which parents often do not allow to play within everyday life – keys, locks, drawers and switches, but yet these objects are so interesting! 🙂
We also suggest that you play together as it is a great chance to establish a special connection between a parent and a child, discover common interests and strengthen the relationship. Teach the child to push coins through the holes, open locks, doors and windows, learn numbers and colours, show how to distinguish between various animals.
Develop motor skills from an early age with Boobo Toys and turn this process into an exciting and fun game!