What are fine motor skills?
Fine motor skills involve the use of small muscles in our hands, wrists, fingers, feet and toes. Improve Toddlers Fine Motor Skills involve the movements of small muscles that require your child’s brain to coordinate between the action and what they are seeing. Fine motor skills can impact things like holding a fork to eat or using a pencil to write.
Fine motor skills start to develop when a child uses the smaller muscles in their hands, wrists, fingers, feet and toes. Developing those muscles includes actions like grasping, holding, pressing, or using a pincer grip (holding something between the fore-finger and thumb).
For young children of preschool, kindergarten and early school age, Develop and Improve Toddlers Fine Motor Skills is extremely important. For a fun way to improve your child’s motor skills when it’s rainy outside, try making one of these 6 things with them.
Why are fine motor skills important?
Fine motor skills develop when a child uses the smaller muscles in their hands, wrists, fingers, feet and toes. Developing these muscles includes actions like grasping, holding, pressing, or using a pincer grip (holding something between the fore-finger and thumb). We all need fine motor skills to do vital everyday things. for example, brushing our teeth, doing up buttons on a top, using utensils to eat, or turning the handle of a door.
If a young child is unable to do these everyday tasks, it can affect their self-confidence, ability to develop self-care, independence skills, and also their school performance.
Milestones for Fine Motor Skills
Although children develop at different rates, having an approximate timeline when they reach certain milestones can be useful in helping you determine if your child is progressing at a normal rate. Here are some general guidelines for fine motor skill development.
Birth to One Year
During your baby’s first year of life, they will develop a number of fine motor skills. For instance, a newborn typically has a primitive hand grasp and by 2 months of age they can hold a rattle when it’s placed in their hand.
By 6 months of age, babies can typically hold one block in two hands and can shake a rattle. At 9 months, most babies display the raking pincer grasp and by 12 months of age they have perfected the pincer grasp, can hold a bottle, and can drop a block into a cup.
One to Two Years
At 18 months old, many babies can insert different shapes into toys as well as stack two to three cups. They also should be able to feed themselves with their fingers and scribble with a crayon in their fist. By 2 years old, a toddler usually can copy a vertical line, use a spoon, and stack six cups. They also are beginning to learn how to help dress themselves.
Two to Three Years
Throughout the time period between their second birthday and their third birthday, most children are learning to make circles as well as copy a horizontal line. They also are mastering drinking from an open cup as well as using a fork and a spoon. Kids this age also can undress themselves as well as remove their socks and shoes.
Three to Four Years
As preschoolers approach their fourth birthday, they are perfecting their drawing skills. They should be able to copy a cross as well as draw a two- to four-part person. They also are learning to cut paper and can dress themselves but may still struggle with buttoning buttons.
Four to Five Years
By the time a child is 5 years old, they should be able to copy a square and draw a 10-part person. They also are likely more adept at holding a pencil using the tripod position and can color between the lines. Kids this age also should be able to wash and dry their hands thoroughly.
How to help develop and Improve toddlers fine motor skills
These 6 techniques are especially effective for teaching pre-school or kindergarten aged children fine motor skills, but they are also necessary and useful for younger and older children’s motor skill development.
Tactile play with good old favorite materials like play-dough is a great way for kids to experiment and build fine motor skills. To make this even more interesting you could play together with you kid for him to get ideas. It is important to make sure the dough is not made from toxic materials and that it is safe for you kid.
Here’s a recommended play dough from Amazon
Do puzzles together. Picking up and moving puzzle pieces into place helps develop pincer grasp.
Watching or helping your child learn how to complete a puzzles can sometimes be frustrating, they can be impatient and give up easily, lose pieces or put them in their mouth. But if you stick with it and choose the right puzzle for them, the rewards are worth it. Engage with and encourage your child as much as you can to compete easy puzzles at first and then progressively harder one’s, doing this will improve their hand – eye skills, coordination and motor skills.
Watching the smile and sense of satisfaction that your child will get from completing a puzzle provides tremendous satisfaction for parents.
Recommended Puzzles by age:
- 12-24 Months: First Shapes Jumbo Knob Wooden Puzzle
- 2-4 Years: Pattern Blocks and Boards
- 4-6 Years: USA Map Floor Puzzle
3. Drawing, coloring in and painting
Encourage your child to draw and paint. This helps not only their fine motor skills, but also creativity and imagination too. Try different types of painting and different mediums, like crayons, chalk, finger paints, brush painting or charcoal, to spark their interest and strengthen your child’s hand-eye coordination. Painting with a paint brush helps kids learn to hold a brush and gain greater control using things in their hands including pencils and other items.
4. Cutting with scissors
5. Bath time play
You can also find full list of the Best Developmental Toys For Bath Time
6. Build with blocks and Lego
Stack, connect and build things together with blocks and Lego. These activities encourage fine pushing and pulling movements. Lego is also great for fostering creativity. Building with LEGO is an effective way to work and develop your child’s fine motor skills. As children build and even pick up LEGO pieces they will, build stronger muscles in their hands and improve co-ordination, this will help them to improve with other skills, such as learning to hold a pencil and learning to write.
Other skills children can learn from playing with Lego include persistence, a sense of accomplishment and an improved ability to solve puzzles.
You can also find full list of the Best Construction and Building Block Toys