Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fine Motor Skills

I was recently reading a lens on fine motor skills from Squiddo. Click here to be brought to the article: The article is written by a former early childhood teacher who retired in 2008.

This lens will define exactly what fine motor skills are, help you understand how important it is to develop fine motor skills in young children, and provide ideas for activities you can easily do with your child at home. Additionally, she provides a link for an assessment to determine kindergarten readiness.

Once you complete the assessment, the site summarizes your child's readiness for each section: gross motor, fine motor, auditory processing, visual discrimination, letter/word awareness, phonemic awareness, math/number awareness, and social/emotional development. It also provides links at the bottom of each domain to learn more about the importance of that particular area as well as skills that your child will be expected to have at school. Also refer to the Common Core tab on the side of my blog. It is broken down by grade level and subject area.

She suggests using a small pencil such as a golf pencil to help your child with the correct grip. A great idea, however, in my opinion, these pencils are very narrow, making it hard for small fingers to hold. If your child is working on prewriting activities (i.e., tracing worksheets - even before letters with just lines) I would suggest taking some of the fatter crayons and breaking them into small pieces so when your child picks it up they are using their thumb and pointer and possibly other fingers to hold as well. There are also primary pencils which are thicker as well and plastic pencil grips that slide onto the bottom of the pencil.

To add on to her suggestions for some simple activities you can do at home, you might also want to try:

-Placing table salt in a cookie tray and have your child use their pointer finger to draw or write with.
-Use tongs to pick up materials that you hide in a bin or bowl of sand.

-Tearing paper - I would start with newspaper first. If using construction paper have it prepared in small pieces so as not to overwhelm. Glue down later in a collage or other project.

-Painting with smaller items other than paintbrushes - for example wine corks, mushrooms, radishes, apples or potatoes (cut in half) are just a few ideas.

-You can make your own lacing cards - all you need is a hole punch, yarn, and an oak tag file folder. I add a small piece of tape to the end of the yarn to make it a little stronger when threading.

At the bottom of the lens there are a number of links to free resources.

Let me know what you try and how it works for your child!

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  1. Thanks for the article link. I'm trying to put fine motor activities in with my word work practice, so it was good information.
    The Meek Moose

  2. Thanks for the article! I have awarded you with the One Lovely Blog Award... Stop by my blog at Karmenskindersofroom103.blogspot.com to pick it up!