What are Fine Motor Skills:
Fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the body that enable such functions as writing, grasping small objects, and fastening clothing. They involve strength, fine motor control, and dexterity.
How Fine Motor Skills Affect Learning and Living Skills:
These skills are important in most school activities as well as in life in general. Weaknesses in fine motor skills can affect a child's ability to eat, write legibly, use a computer, turn pages in a book, and perform personal care tasks such as dressing and grooming.
Fine Motor Weakness and Practical Strategies for Improvement:
If your child has fine motor weaknesses that may affect his education, discuss your concerns with your child's IEP team. Evaluation by a physical and/or occupational therapist can determine if his fine motor skills are a concern and if therapy can improve them.
The IEP team will use therapists' assessments and other evaluation data to determine if your child needs regular therapy as a related service. If your child needs therapy to benefit from specially designed instruction, these services will be written into the individual education program.
Toys and Games Help Strengthen Fine Motor Skills:
- Toys for infants and toddlers;
- Toys for Toddlers to 24 Months
- For school aged children, board games with pieces and parts to pick up and move are ideal for developing these skills.
- Jenga is a strategy game using fine motor skills that focuses on the pincher grip, which is used in writing.
- Remote control cars are great for preschool and elementary kids.
- Not to be left out of course, are video games. These can help, but watch out for carpal tunnel syndrome. Be sure to check the video game ratings to ensure they are appropriate for your child.
Drawing and Coloring Strengthen Fine Motor Skills:
These Scratch Magic kits have the cool factor older children like.
Make your own by coloring paper with multiple colors and shapes and then covering the sheet in black crayon. Scratch off with an orange stick or safety scissors.
Develop Fine Motor Skills with Origami:
Ready for a Fine Motor Skills Challenge? Try Paper Cutting Arts:
More Fine Motor Skills Crafts:
- Paper snowflakes ideas. The tortilla snowflake is not to be missed.
- Greeting card and place mat crafts are also a fun fine motor skills activity.
- Kirigami is a Chinese art that can build fine motor skills using decorative paper cutting. For older children, ages 9 and up, this can be a fun activity that rewards kids with a decorative keepsake suitable for the refrigerator art gallery.