What exactly are fine motor skills anyway? It’s the ability to use the smaller muscles in fingers, hands and wrists. Fine motor development is an important skill for kids. In a recent article on ABC Radio Melbourne teachers expressed concern for the iPad generation and their readiness to write. They believe there is a decline in fine motor skills because kids aren’t holding crayons and coloring or using scissors to cut as much as they had in the past.
Fine motor skills are not just for writing. Kids need to be able to grasp small objects, use scissors, turn pages of books, and tie their shoelaces. That’s why we offer crafts in story time. We want children to color, cut and paste. All these things develop those small muscles. (And I’m sure you’ve heard me tell parents not to do the craft for their kids!) The Inspired Treehouse offers some great ideas for helping develop the muscles needed for writing — and one of them is letting kids color on the walls! Well, maybe not that, but they do say that having kids work on a vertical surface builds core strength, spatial awareness, coordination, and elbow stability while working on those small muscles all at the same time.
Kid Sense has a detailed fine motor development chart detailing developmental milestones for children by age. If you’re worried your child is behind get out the play-doh, glue stick, scissors, crayons and some old magazines. Let them be creative and get messy.
See you in the Story Time Room!