Thursday, November 30, 2017

11 fine motor skill building toddler activities:

     Most people who read my blog or follow my social media page regularly, particularly my Instagram stories, know that my son and I are constantly working on different toddler activities. One of the particular areas that we have been spending time on off late is his fine motor skill development. While he is working on writing readiness, and colouring in school, my son, being a very playful and very boyish boy, much prefers to jump  on the bed (or on my head) and play with his cars than to sit down and colour, or do a structured activity. He is an introvert much like me so he loves to be home but lately I find that he has a penchant for the unstructured. 
     So, sitting him down to get him to do activities is a task - it never used to be, but lately it is. However, what is much harder than pulling teeth is colouring..... Proof attached!! Any guesses on what that is supposed to be? He boasts often about how he loves to scribble! However, inspite of his ability to scribble, we have had some progress.

any idea what this is???
I have been up against a lot and have to come up with creative ways to work on his fine motor skills that don't necessarily involve a crayon and pencil, some of the fun ways are below. 

11 ways to enhance your toddler's fine motor skills:

1. Crayon skills: Okay, this one is obvious. But I don't mean you have to get a huge coloring book and make them fill in all the little crevices. You can give them a blank book and make a small square and tell them just to color in that much. Then, clap and make a big deal when they do it. Then, a slightly bigger square and make them color in just thattt much. You can also use a "Grip" (Lakeshore is one of the brands that makes these), if they need help with their grip.
       There are also some coloring books (form brands like Kumon) where most of the picture is colored in except for a tiny little part that is whited out. Kids like to fill in the blanks so to speak, and this is a great way to get them to engage even with activities they don't normally love.
      Asking them to draw shapes and colour in the tiny shapes they have drawn is also a great way to motivate them to start colouring and drawing small areas (or draw in the shapes yourself if they are not ready for this).

drawing straight lines.. and she's trying to bead..
2.Peeling potatoes: No, there isn't an Irish famine but potato peeling is a great way to work on their fine motor skills! It gets the pincer grip working, teaches them to concentrate and surprisingly is something than many kids enjoy.

3. Pulling things apart: You heard me, they get to pull things apart. Holding three fingers though. Putty, and dough kind of soft mouldable, not just your house (and sanity).

4. Wall ball game: (atleast that's we call it). It's taking and holding a small hard ball with three fingers, and rolling it up a wall, this can also be done against their body. A variation of this is to toss the ball and run and catch It (which gets them more tired), or to toss it at a target, but again holding only 3 fingers.

5. Separating pulses: This is exactly how it sounds. Mix different pules in a bowl and have your little one sort them out. Once they are adept at this, you can complicate it by having them separate it using a tweezer.

6. Tweezer work: Tweezers are fabulous for fine motor skill development. That doesn't mean we have to wait to find splinters or let them have their way with your eyebrows, instead, let them play games with tweezers (blunt ones please), like sorting games, picking things up, and there are several board games that use tweezers.

7. Board games: There are several board games that enhance your fine motor skills too. Operation and Bed bugs for example use tweezers. There are also others like Match it, that needs you to put shapes in their corresponding holes to an hour glass, and that too teaches coordination and fine muscle activity.

8. Stickers: Sticker books too are a great way to build fine motor skills, specially reusable ones because it is really the peeling of the sticker from the packet or page, and then sticking them without doing too much damage, that is a task for them at a little age (Specially for toddlers like mine who are always in a hurry to do everything).
my little one, starting early with stickers...

9. Chalk everywhere: (this is for kids who are not allergy prone, mine for example have inherited perpetual sniffles from their father !!) and so I cannot have a chalkboard  in the room even if it's the non dust type, however, the chalk decals - like wall paper, are amazing to keep them motivated to draw, and build a past time that involves fine motor skills! Similarly a chalk board easel for be kept out, but this will retain their attention for much longer. Sidewalk chalk too is a fun activity for the kids to indulge in!
chalk wallpaper decals, at a creative friends house

10. Mazes and Matching: Books, books and books, but the kind they have to draw into. These, along with mats that have fun activities, mazes, odd one outs, join the dots, and matching activities, are enthralling for the kids, build their grip in small doses, and get them ready to write.
maze books!

11. Beading, and lacing: Similarly, beading and lacing activities, build concentration, three finger grip, logic and fine motor skills!!

some progress with our colouring!!! 

Not only are these great ways to keep your little ones building skills, they are super ways to keep them occupied too! 

More to come!

All content on this blog belongs to the author and cannot be reproduced or replicated without permission.