You might have heard the term 'fine motor skills' being talked about but exactly does this mean? The small muscles in your hands are essential for grasping, picking up and eventually learning to write. The use of these are fine motor skills and are an essential part of your child's development.
There are lots of things you can do to help your pre schooler develop these schools and it's lots of fun too.
Playdough A great way to get those little muscles exercising is to get the playdough out or even make your own. It's easy to make too and you can introduce lots of different techniques. Rolling out, squishing, sticking fingers in, making balls of different sizes are all great activities. If you want to go one step further and introduce some counting too, try making cheerio stacking towers.
Cheerio Stacking Towers
Threading Stringing, threading and lacing are also fun activities to try, with the benefit of supporting the development of hand eye co-ordination too. Start with large holes and thick string and you can then make it progressively harder as they improve their skills.
Thread the string through the holes in the beads and spools.
Scissor Skills This activity has always filled me with slight dread as you need to keep a careful eye on your toddler. However, it's a really important skill. You can get safety scissors especially made for children which have blunt ends. My son is very happy just to cut up colour pieces of magazines. You could always use the scraps to make a collage afterwards.
Scooping & Pouring Bathtime is a perfect time to enjoy some play. You don't need lots of fancy bath toys, just a few small plastic pots and cups and your toddler can practise scooping and transferring water from one place to another. Rice and lentils are also great to promote this skill.
Squirting Who doesn't love skirting bottles? When you're doing a painting activity, let your child squirt out some paint which will support the pincer grip. You could also fill some empty squeezy bottles with water and take them outside on a hot day to squirt each other or hit targets in the garden.
Clothes Pegs These simple little things can be quite fiddly but help with that pincer grip and strengthening the muscles. You could set up a mini clothes line and hang up doll's clothes.
If you're looking for more ideas, check out MyKidCraft which is bursting with creative ideas.