Fine motor skills demonstrate the ability of children in preschool programs to coordinate the smaller muscles in their hands. These skills include picking up items, grasping objects, letting things go, and following patterns. Preschool children benefit from activities that increase fine motor skill development and enhance the hand and finger coordination. Children need to develop dexterity and strength in their fingers and hands, along with their eye-hand coordination to effectively use manipulatives like crayons, pencils and scissors later on.
The development of fine motor skills moves through a logical progression from the random reflex grasping of a baby to more precise hand movements of preschool children. The following activities can help young children to develop their fine motor abilities.
Taking Things Apart and Putting Them Together
Children must coordinate the use of both of their hands when they are taking things apart and putting them together. These activities include stringing beads, building with Duplo blocks, stacking objects and attaching items with Velcro.
Preschoolers enjoy pointing to people, objects and pictures in books. To perform these skills, they need to develop their movement of individual isolated fingers. Activities like pushing buttons and poking through holes enable them to strengthen their index fingers, which is necessary for the development of grasping.
Banging and Hammering
Hand grasping and arm movement control are strengthened through banging and hammering. Children can develop these skills by beating on drums with drumsticks and hammering benches with toy hammers.
Objects In and Objects Out
The ability to grasp and release an object can be enhanced through activities in which children can place their toys into and later remove them from, a container. Young children enjoy sorting shapes, scooping sand, and pouring water. These types of movements help them to develop their wrist, elbow and shoulder motions.
Sensory objects like water, sand, finger paint and play dough enable children to develop the necessary sensory discrimination awareness they need in their hands.
Building with blocks, playing with dolls and action figures, lacing strings and connecting puzzle pieces are just some of the activities that develop fine motor strength and control and require precise small finger movement.
Purposeful activities like drinking from a cup, brushing their teeth, using utensils and getting dressed help children to develop their independence as well as their fine motor skills.
To learn more about helping your children develop their fine motor skills in McKinney preschool programs, call the experts at the Heritage Learning Center at (972) 782-4464 today!
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