Wanna get jiggy with fine motor skills today? Me too! For #WednesdayPlayday this week, I’m talking pincher grips and play-doh. (Disclaimer: I’m not an occupational therapist and by no means an ‘authority’ but these are OT-approved… if you have any questions or concerns, totally speak with your pediatrician. The skills I’m going to talk about are probably in place by the time your child turns 4 or 5 but again… every dang child is different. That’s what makes all of us parents lose our marbles.)
Before I get to the activities, here’s the 4-1-1 on motor development. The four foundation blocks of fine motor skills are 1) Posture 2) Tactile 3) Bilateral coordination, and 4) Hand development.
So for Posture… your child should have basic core strength in order to sit up straight to work on any number of these fine motor skills… if you notice your child is slumping over or quick to tire when seated, that might be something to mention at your next checkup.
Tactile basically means comfort with varying textures. I’m not talking about a kid who doesn’t like finger paints, but the child who is so completely distracted by different textures that he is unable to concentrate on the task at hand.
Bilateral coordination sounds fancy, right? Say it with me: bilateral coordination. Mention this in the carpool line and you’ll be the hit of preschool dismissal. What does it mean? Using both hands together. Think kneading a ball of play-doh or using one hand to hold the paper while the other hand guides the scissors.
Finally… hand development. The skill of the thumb and forefinger working together to pick up finger food vs. the strength of the whole hand.
My philosophy with kids activities is that they should be 1) easy to set up, 2) independent-ish, and 3) engaging! (Notice I didn’t mention any iDevices or screens…) In no particular order, these are my Top Five Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers.
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