My nephew is now approaching two years old. He is now more active. He is unstoppable when it comes to playing. And, boy can he play!
Every morning, we have our study session. Yup! You read that right. We have a study session.
It’s not really a formal type of class. It’s not even that planned. Most of the time, I just bring out whatever material I previously used and VOILA! Instant morning toddler class.
I just always come up with an activity for him every morning after he does his morning walk with Papa (my dad, his grandpa.)
It’s like we’re playing school. I’m the teacher (a not so prepared one in this class) and he’s the student (a funny and very obedient- the first two minutes, after that, well…)
Our morning classes may not be that planned yet, at this point (I promise to be more mindful in the future.) But I can say that our activities are geared towards building his fine motor skills.
As a preschool teacher, I know how important these skills are. So please don’t judge me if I want to give my most favorite boy in the world an edge by starting early. 😀
What Are Fine Motor Skills?
Fine motor skills involve the use of muscles in the hands, fingers and wrists. These skills are important for performing everyday self-care and academic tasks.
Children with well developed fine motor skills display efficiency in tasks such as writing, cutting, tying shoelaces, eating with utensils and doing buttons.
On the other hand, under developed fine motor skills can put children at a disadvantage. They tend to have low self-esteem, poor performance at school and could not display independence.
Being a preschool teacher, I have seen a lot of children struggling with school activities just because their hands aren’t strong enough to handle fine motor tasks. Because of this challenge, they have the tendency to lag behind compared to their peers who display well developed fine motor skills.
The good news is: The struggle is temporary. Children with under developed fine motor skills can overcome their difficulties through constant practice and targeted exercises. Over time, they catch up with their peers and perform fine motor tasks with ease as well (provided of course, that they don’t have an underlying motor skills issue.)
There are actually tons of activities that your child can do at home so he can build his muscles on his hands, fingers and wrists. And these activities, in guise of play, will give your child the edge in school- nope, actually in LIFE!
Here are the top activities that you can do with your child to improve his fine motor skills:
This moldable toy is always a hit to children. With their two hands, they can create different figures, from something as simple as a ball to something more complex as a robot.
As your child squeezes, pounds and molds, his fine motor muscles are then set in motion as they meet resistance from the clay. Neat, right? It’s just like resistance training for the hands.
Kendra (the girl on the picture) is my favorite girl in the world. Her mom is also a preschool teacher. So Kendra playing with homemade play dough is not surprising. That’s just her mom giving her the edge, too. 🙂
2. Squeeze a Sponge
Another hit with the children as this involves water play. See their eyes turn big as they squeeze out water from giant sponges.
In this simple water play, your child will indirectly learn about weight- the sponge is heavier when full with water and lighter after it’s squeezed out. Talk about a 2-in-1 learning experience!
This is already a preparatory school activity. And since your child is a newbie, there’s no need to fret about proper grip. I say, just let your child be. Anyway, when your child has developed his fine motor skills, it will be easy to ask him to assume the standard pencil tripod grip. For now, color away!
As children carefully grasp the lace and shoot it in strategically placed holes, they are unknowingly strengthening their finger muscles. This is also a good activity to practice their eye-hand coordination. Plus, it teaches patience and persistence. Who would have thought that a simple game could also develop character?
5. Paint, Paint, Paint
Whether with a paint brush or with your child’s fingers, this activity will definitely train his fine motor skills.
In each stroke of the paint brush, his wrist gets stronger. And with every press of his tiny painted finger on paper, his digits get more flexible.
And I think I don’t need to explain more when I say that this activity develops creativity. Full stop.
The above activities are highly recommended. These simple activities are sure fire way to help your child develop his fine motor skills. And the materials needed can be easily found at home, or at your nearest book store.
Teacher’s Advice: Start early. Give your child the edge by training his fine motor muscles so he can perform self-care and academic tasks with ease.
Do you now see why I include these activities in my nephew’s morning routine? They are clearly simple activities yet the pay out is big. With just a couple of minutes being engaged in these fun exercises, he will surely rock it in school in the future. I declare it!
Credits to his beautiful and smart preschool teacher aunt. That’s me! Yey!
But, seriously, please do try these activities. They are 100% worth the time and effort.
Are you already doing these activities with your child? Which one is your child’s favorite?
If you have other activities in mind, please do share it with me by commenting below.
Oh, and please visit my Free Printable Page for more!
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