Parents should help their children develop their fine motor skills as they are going to be required to use them once they reach their school years. Some of these skills are: how to handle a pen or pencil, draw, paint or play a musical instrument. Fine motor skills allow children to become more independent, and although they are matured over time, there are plenty of things that parents can do to help their child in this process. In fact, if a child’s fine motor skills are underdeveloped or are not mature enough for his age, he may have trouble using a pair of scissors, painting with brushes, playing with dough and so on.
Parents should have a very active role in this learning process, and they should act as role models for their children. We all know that children love doing what their parents do, so encourage them to imitate your actions even if they do not do so perfectly well. For instance, you can grab some crayons and a piece of paper for you and your child and suggest he draw a sun or a house or a person. Do your drawing carefully and slowly and let your child imitate your trace. Or buy him or her a colouring book and encourage him to colour, respecting the border lines just as you do. Needless to say, this implies having a lot of patience and it will definitely demand you some time but it is definitely worth it.
Let’s see some other games and educational toys you can try with your child at home:
- Give your child some play dough and ask him to roll it into thin, fat, long and short snakes. Roll the snakes over so that they become spirals or snails or make balls of different sizes. Your child will love it if you let him play with some plastic cookie cutters or some dull plastic knives so that he can create more shapes or experiment with new tools!
- If you have recently purchased any kind of technical equipment that came in a plastic bubble wrap, instead of throwing it away, let your child pinch it, squeeze it and jump on it until all bubbles are gone. This is really a fitness training for his fingers!!!
- Ask your child to help you tidy things up even if he is not actually helping you. Give your child two bowls: one with colorful cotton balls and an empty one. Ask him or her to move all the pink, or yellow or green or purple cotton bowls to the other bowl but tell him that he cannot use his hands or fingers but only a pincer you are going to give him.
- Next time you are doing some major clean up or next time you need to do some kind of handcraft with paper, let your child help you tear paper. Give him or her different types of papers such as magazine ads, newspapers, crepe paper and so on so that he can experiment with different textures and different levels of difficulty.
- Give your child some educational toys specifically designed to enhance their fine motor skills. Items such as stacking rings, wooden toys and colorful puzzles are the toys that enhanced motor skills while keeping your child engaged and learning.
- Make bath time a learning experience as well. Give your child things he can squeeze such as the bath sponge, empty bottles and so on.