Fine motor skills help our toddlers be able to take care of themselves! It also allows them to get into more things...such as cabinets! It is important for us to help them develop fine motor skills so they can take care of themselves and complete daily tasks. By helping them, they will gain self-confidence and self-esteem and become excited at what they can do. By the time they are two or three, they will probably be able to turn the door knob and unscrew a screw jar lids! That is when you really have to keep a watchful eye! Fine motor skills involve the movement of small muscles in our child's hands, wrist and fingers. This is a time when toddlers love to hold a big fat crayon and attempt to draw. You will begin to notice a more curious and independent child wanting to button their clothes, turn the page when you read a story, grab for child scissors and cut paper. These skills must be nurtured, promoted, and practiced. This means that it is important for parents and grandparent to work with and guide our young children in help to develop these skills.
Here are some fun activities:
1. Stand on One Foot – Not every child will be able to master it immediately. If your child is having trouble with this, have them first stand on one foot while keeping the other on a stool. When the child improves, replace the stool with a ball. Be sure to do this with both legs. Always make a game out of it, see how long they can balance on each leg and then have them try it with their eyes closed.
2. Play Hopscotch – This is a great activity for developing balance and kids love it.
3. Stand and walk on a Balance Board – Make this a fun activity as you and your child can take turns trying to stay on the board for as long as you can, then have your child walk the board with his/her arms straight out to help them balance.
4. Balance a Beanbag On Your Head – Give your child a beanbag and have them keep the beanbag balanced while walking in different ways. Have your child walk around or dance to music with beanbags balanced.
5. Play-Doh uses lots of small muscles
6. Draw and color as well as using a pair of toddler scissors
7. Thread straws with pasta. Stick the straws in a blob of play dough and let the children add pasta on each straw
The key to improving your child’s balance, or any other portion of their fitness, is to keep practicing!
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