Fine Motor Skills: Everything You Need to Know

This term describes the tiny movements carried out with the hands. In particular, students who are five years and younger need to engage in activities that build these fine motor skills. This helps make them ready to actively engage in writing and other regular day-to-day activities of adulthood. Fine motor skills are complex and include a coordinated effort between muscles and the brain. These skills start developing in infancy and continue improving as children get older. Fine motor skills develop naturally as children gain the ability to coordinate and control their bodies. However, parents should note that some kids may develop fine motor skills earlier than others. Therefore, parents shouldn’t be alarmed if their kid isn’t developing these skills as fast as a kid of similar age. But there’re fine motor skills milestones that kids generally reach different ages.

Here’re some tips parents can use to help their kids develop fine motor skills.

Teaching the pincer grasp: To help the kids learn to pick small items using their forefinger and thumb, parents can fill an empty baby-wipe container with scarves and let the kids pull them out. Parents can also give kids toys that have knobs, switches, and dials.

Embracing their filling and dumping obsession: Toddlers often like to load all their toys into a bin only to spill it out and do it again. While the activity may seem dull, it requires concentration, cognitive reasoning, and integrated muscle movements. Other methods to promote grip and finger strength include using toys that are buried in sand and squeezing a wet sponge.

Letting the stacking begin: Children need wrist and hand stability to place blocks with control. Toddlers can easily manipulate large wooden blocks. Once they get the hang of it, parents can switch to smaller building materials.

Building on basic skills: As toddlers’ dexterity improves, parents should encourage them to use both hands to perform new tasks. Parents can let them try threading big beads to teach them how to work their hands in tandem.

Once parents have provided their kids with the tools that promote creativity, parents should let them loose even if things tend to get messy. The less control parents try to impose over their children’s creativity, the better. Also, parents shouldn’t be alarmed if their fine motor skills develop more slowly than their gross motor development. This is because the types of delicate movements that enable kids to manipulate objects can be learned only with a lot of practice over time.

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