As parents, we play a vital role in our children's fine motor skills development.
These skills allow our children to be able to complete important tasks in life such as writing, zipping, locking, buttoning and even feeding oneself.
However, little hands need the dexterity and strength to be able to those things. So today we are sharing six simple activities to help improve fine motor skills at home using mostly materials you already have.
Playdough or putty
Sit with your child and encourage them to squeeze, stretch, shape and roll their play clay. Playdough, putty and even slime are great tools for helping to improve a child's fine motor skills and by adding simple tools like cookie cutters and even scissors. It can make the squishy session even more valuable for building up their little hand muscles.
Keep it stress-free and simple by using a piece of string and uncooked pasta shapes or perhaps Cheerios if you have them in the press. This simple threading exercise is a great way to strengthen fine motor skills but also comes highly recommended as a calm-down game for the busiest of houses.
Pipe cleaners and colanders
Simply turn a colander upside down and let your child poke colourful pipe cleaners in and out of the little holes. It is so easy to set up and if you don't have a colander in your home be creative and use a cooling rack or anything they can twist and turn the pipe cleaners around.
A clever activity that will have your little one working hard on their pincer grip along with the all-important hand-eye coordination. To set up this activity, put some pieces of dry pasta in a bowl alongside child-friendly tongs or tweezers. Guide your child and show them how to pinch and pick up the pasta pieces and remove them from the bowl. You can also use pom-pom, large beads or even grains of rice for older children.
Cutting with scissors is an important fine motor skill exercise as it helps strengthen the fingers in preparation of holding a pencil and helps develop stability. Keep the cardboard from your cereal boxes or celebration cards in anticipation of this easy peasy tabletop activity that kids of all ages love. For added brownie points, print off some of their favourite cartoon characters for them to cut around.
Stickers are super tricky to peel, making it the perfect to help improve fine motor skills. To give their little hands a head start, remove the large sticker surrounding the smaller stickers on the sheet and let them decorate an empty toilet roll holder or a piece of card. This activity takes a lot of concentration, making it a tricky task as they try to control their hands removing the stickers from the sheet.