We all know the importance of developing fine and gross motor skills in children at a young age. Having good motor control can not only be important for a child’s growth but it can also promote independence and aid in cognitive development. So as a parent, what can we do to help our little ones as they progress through this developmental stage? We are no longer just talking about correcting how your child holds a pen, right? No instead today parents are recommended to incorporate methods to build these skills through play. We want to let them have fun, whilst fostering significant foundations in their development. So, it’s time to get creative!
For toddlers, play doh is a favourite and can keep them entertained for hours. Allow your little one to squash, mould and explore, building strength in their hands and preparing them for pencil and scissor control. Encourage them to use plastic cutters to make shapes and pick up plastic tongs to plate up whatever they have made for your imaginary tea. Threading is also a very good way to encourage your pre-schooler. Pick fun colourful images for them to decorate and watch those little fingers mature as they play. All little toddlers love finger painting, it’s fun and creative, just make sure you get those overalls on!
As your child gets a little older, he or she may want to move on to even more fun pastimes. Sand art is a creative activity for this age group. Your little one will need to peel away the protective paper with the tool provided, sprinkle on the sand, shake off the excess sand and move onto the next piece of the picture. The result? A beautiful handmade image to stick on the wall or to create into a greeting card. Colouring and sticker books are also just as popular, encouraging the same use of motor skills, whilst also instilling patience and discipline at this young age. And of course, the easiest and most engaging way to improve those gross motor skills is to play throwing and catching games with a ball.
For children that are already at school, don’t assume that because they are starting to write they don’t need to develop these motor skills further. A widespread favourite activity which really cultivates a child’s growth is building Lego. Magnetic tiles are also a fun role play activity to embark on, and lots of little girls become fixated and passionate in making bracelets for their friends at this age. Stringing beads might not seem difficult but the skills required and the benefits a child gains are aplenty.
These are just a few examples of how to incorporate developing motor skills into play. Always make sure your child leads the way and try to make each activity as imaginative and enjoyable as possible.