The 6 Best Activities to Develop Fine Motor Skills

There are multiple reasons why it is crucial to develop fine motor skills early in life. These abilities are fundamental for completing activities that demand precision, such as writing, tying shoelaces, brushing hair, and eating. While these skills may develop on their own to some degree, it is always recommended that parents engage their children in enriching activities to enhance their acquisition at a quicker rate. Here are six expert tips to consider. (For more information, visit cabinet painting in Oakville)

1. Playing with Clay and Putty

This activity involves both gross and fine motor skills. More precision will be required when making complex objects and manipulating these materials can help to strengthen the muscles within the hands. Of course, playing with putty is also a great way to stimulate the imagination.

2. Finger Painting

Painting with fingers has always represented a tried-and-tested way of improving manual dexterity. Children who seem to be comfortable with this activity can thereafter be provided with a brush; yet another means to learn about the benefits of working with (and manipulating) tools.

3. Basic Gardening

Believe it or not, there are many aspects associated with gardening that can improve fine motor skills. Examples include pruning bushes by hand and planting individual seeds. This is an excellent outdoor activity and one which the child can pursue at his or her own pace. Parents can then observe their progress from a distance. Learn more about the importance of passive observation by reading the EYFS assessment guide here.

4. Simple Puzzles

The Australian child development firm Aspiro notes that puzzles are excellent ways to promote basic deductive reasoning skills. However, the tactile nature of blocks and cardboard cutouts can likewise help to hone fine motor skills. Furthermore, children will feel a sense of pride when they have completed a relatively challenging puzzle!

5. Colouring Within the Lines

This simple activity has been used for decades within the classroom. Colouring images within the lines teaches children about precision as well as how even the smallest of movements can affect the overall outcome. Sometimes referred to as a “passive” activity due to the fact that it will not require a great deal of thought, colouring is still a great way to develop much-needed motor skills.

6. “Rice Races” with Tongs or Tweezers

This hands-on activity can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Place two pieces of dried rice upon a homemade “racetrack”. Use tweezers or tongs to manipulate this piece towards a finish line. If rice proves to be too difficult for the child, larger objects such as coins, buttons or even grapes can be used.

As adults, we often take our fine motor skills for granted. Children nonetheless need to be encouraged to develop these traits so that they can fully experience the world around them. Although your little one may become frustrated at times, perseverance will ultimately produce tangible results. Feel free to perform additional research or to speak with your family physician to discover even more interesting ideas.


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