|Amy Croker, MAT, Elementary Education|
Playdough, Legos, unifix cubes, lacing cards, nuts and bolts, tweezers, tongs, clothespins, eye droppers, newspaper, a deck of cards and the list goes on of the many household items that can strengthen your child's fine motor skills. Who would have thought that playing with Play Dough or blocks could help your child develop their fine motor skills? And there are so many other simple activities that you can easily do to strengthen your child's hand muscles.
You may be asking why is this skill so important to prepare my child for Kindergarten? Every child going into Pre-K and Kindergarten needs to have strong fine motor skills. It is a must in my opinion! Fine motor skills is the foundation that your child needs in order to learn how to write. It helps with learning how to grasp the pencil correctly and control it in their tiny little hands.
As a former Kindergarten teacher, I saw a surprisingly large amount of students coming into my classroom with very weak fine motor skills. It quickly became a challenge for these students to participate in any writing activities or even art projects, where they might have to color, paste or cut paper with scissors.
So in order to further develop my students' fine motor skills, I decided to make sure I had plenty of fun and simple activities that I could integrate into their daily routine and center time.
Alot of the items I have already listed above, and then I have included more at the end of this post of things that you can easily do at home with your child. For example, if you and your child like to play cards, have them shuffle the deck before you start the game. For your younger children, you can start by simply providing blocks for them to stack, sort or place into a shape sorter.
I hope this list will help you as you continue to support and prepare your child for Kindergarten.
More Fine Motor activties to do with your child:
- Pick up small objects such as coins, beans, marbles, seeds, buttons, nuts and bolts. Sort them into containers of varying sizes.
- Pick up objects (blocks, cotton balls, pom-poms, crumpled balls of paper, counters, etc. ) using various sized tongs, tweezers or clothesline hooks
- Stack objects (i.e. coins, cards, checkers, blocks, etc.)
- Screw and unscrew objects such as nuts and bolts, caps from jars, etc.
- String beads onto a shoelace
- Play with Lite Brite toy
- Cut straight and curved lines/shapes drawn on paper, cloth, etc., with scissors
- Play piano
- Shuffle cards, deal cards one by one, turn cards over
- Roll a pencil between thumb and fingers without dropping it
- Stick small objects into play dough or Silly Putty for him/her to pull out
- Wind thread on a spool evenly
- Put rubber bands around various size containers and objects
- Move spoonfuls of small objects from one bowl to another
- Do up buttons, zippers, hooks, etc.
- Tie shoelaces
- Manually sharpen pencils
- Put keys into locks to open door
- Put paper clips onto paper