Friday, September 17, 2010

If you have a toddler. . .

The first 18 months of a child’s life are spent largely focused on the development of their gross motor skills, such as crawling and walking. Once these skills have been mastered it’s the perfect time to start working on the development of their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are essential for your child to be able to complete very functional tasks, such as:

~ tying or buckling shoes
~ zipping and unzipping
~ turning the pages of a book
~ holding a pencil correctly
~ writing legibly without muscle fatigue
~ cutting with scissors
~ painting, drawing, coloring
~ basically any task that requires the use of small, precise hand and finger movements

Here are just a few activities to get you started:

~ tearing paper, creating a collage
~ threading beads or pasta
~ lacing activities
~ stacking blocks, cups, cans, etc.
~ scribbling
~ stamping
~ creating sticker pictures or colorforms
~ button sorting
~ chunky wooden puzzles
~ Family Fun has a great make it yourself puzzle out of popsicle sticks.
~ playdough - use plastic knives, forks, spoons, rollers, and cookie cutters
~ fingerplays and songs that incorporate finger/hand movements
~ playing instruments such as rhythm sticks, sandblocks, and egg shakers

Do you have any additional ideas for developing fine motor skills at home?

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