04 Dec Fine motor skills – 11 easy ways you can help your children at home
It’s using those smaller muscle groups that really help us perform our day to day tasks with ease. We call these Fine Motor Skills. Smaller day to day tasks requires us to use our independent skills together to perform each task with ease and efficiency.
Common activities that we use our Fine Motor Skills for are the things we do on a daily basis that are a little more intricate. Like taking your lunch out of your lunch box at school, doing up buttons, brushing your teeth, using scissors and pencils as well as piecing together Lego.
Important reminder: every child develops at different rates
The way we measure the developmental stages in your children are through age milestones and being able to carry out particular activates at particular ages. As an example, typically at ages 5 or 6, children can eat with a spoon and fork as well as copy shapes and letters. At ages 9 or 10, they can draw and use intricate tools like a ruler and rubber without getting frustrated.
It’s important to remember that every child develops at different rates which is why we encourage you to initiate easy activities at home that will assist to develop your child’s Fine Motor Skills. These home activates compliment what they learn when they come and visit us here at OTFC.
Occupational Therapy will help you understand what your child’s needs are, how you can assist at home and tips and tricks to make specialised learning activities seem like fun for your child.
“As we develop our minds, bodies and hearts, you may see us playing”
The importance of your child’s visual motor integration skills
Our bodies work as one big system, so when our children are developing it’s important for their visual motor integration skills (their visual perception) to integrate seamlessly to support the accuracy of their fine motor skills.
Visual motor integration allows us to use our eyes and our hands in a coordinated manner to perform the tasks we discussed above such as taking your lunch out of your lunch box at school, doing up buttons, brushing your teeth, using scissors and pencils as well as piecing together Lego.
11 easy activities you can help your children develop their Visual and Fine Motor integration skills at home
- Play-dough: create different shapes and mould as well as make your own before you play with it
- Puzzles: picking up the pieces, moving them around and following a design assists in hand and eye coordination
- Drawing, colouring in and painting: helps their imagination as well as their Fine Motor Skills. Encouraging painting with a brush as well as with other mediums such as chalk, charcoal and crayons is also a great idea
- Using kitchen tongs or tweezers: create a game of “pick up” – how many things can you pick up with the tongs or tweezers and put them into a bucket
- Cutting with scissors: draw different shapes for your child to cut around
- Bath time play
- Sand play
- Build with blocks and Lego
- Threading and lacing: think about different types of pasta to make large necklaces or beads and buttons to make smaller necklaces
- Brushing their own teeth: encouraging them to do it properly is one thing and helping to develop their Fine Motor Skills in the meantime.
- Download the right game on your phone, iPad or computer can also assist in developing your child’s Fine Motor Skills and visual motor skills. We’ve put together a great list for you to try:
- Dino Maze: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/dino-maze-dinosaur-mazes-for/id593083065
- Dexteria: https://apps.apple.com/au/app/dexteria-fine-motor-skills/id420464455
- Dexeria Jr: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/dexteria-jr-fine-motor-skill-development/id624918435
- Ready to Print: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ready-to-print/id513780564
- Animal Typing Lite: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/animal-typing-lite/id925341131
Occupational Therapy For Children: Influencing Lives | Creating Possibilities | Making a Difference
OTFC is a South Australian clinic-based service that is centrally located and services children and adolescents from birth through to 21 years of age both locally and nationally. Dedicated to providing a client focused approach where children and families feel validated in their concerns, supported in difficult times, encouraged to be proactive and inspired to facilitate change.