One of the most important things you can do with your child, is help them develop their fine motor skills. Fine motor movement requires use of the small muscles in the fingers and wrists and fine motor skills is how well your child can control this small muscles.
Some common tasks that need fine motor skills include: holding a pencil, buttoning clothes, using scissors and typing on the computer. Fine motor skills are extremely important because they help your child be self sufficient. They allow them to eventually button their own clothes, tie their own shoes and zip their own jackets without an adults help. They are also important for playing musical instruments and even video games.
So how do you make sure that your child is developing excellent fine motor skills? Easy. Practice. You are trying to build the muscles in their fingers, so those little muscles need to be exercised.
One of our favorite ways to work on fine motor skills is threading. Who doesn’t love to make a fruit loop or pasta necklace? For our pasta necklace, I like the wagon wheels. They are easy to thread, but she still has to have the patience to put the thread through the correct hole.
To make it a little more fun, we spray painted our pasta and added some glitter, but plain pasta works just as well.
The best thread is a shoe lace. You can buy a package of 8 pairs at the dollar store and they are perfect. The end is finished so there is no fraying and it makes threading so much easier.
Let your child thread and then let them wear their handiwork.
What are some other ways we work on fine motor skills?
We love to play Connect Four with our little girl. It requires her to pick up the pieces and fit them in the slot, also working her hand-eye coordination. Pick Up Sticks is also a great game for teaching fine motor skills. Practicing cutting lines on paper or holding a pencil correctly will also develop these skills.
Fine motor skills are extremely important and are something that should be developed BEFORE your child goes to kindergarten. With some easy and fun activities, like these, you can build your child’s muscles so they can be independent and on target for their age.