This week is all about Fine Motor Skills! Fine Motor Skills means using those small muscles in our hands and wrists in partnership with our eyes! For children, developing these skills are imperative to mastering major skills such as independently dressing (think doing up zippers and buttons), eating (pincer grasp and utensil use) and writing (tripod pencil grip and motor control of the pencil).
What actions might constitute fine motor skills? Here is a mini verb lesson for you! Click the photo below for more info on Stay at Home Educator! I love the idea of thinking of fine motor as mastering these verbs because they are all functional skills that we need as adults! Take a moment in your day to track every action you complete over a 20 or 30 minute period - any and everything you do with your hands. The list you come up with might surprise you!
Any activity that encompasses these verbs is a GREAT one for strengthening hand muscles. You don't need to purchase fancy fine motor focused toys in order to work on these skills at home!
While the list can go on and on, this adorable A to Z fine motor materials resource below is a great place to start! You'll notice that most items are everyday household items, or simple things that you can pick up at the local dollar or craft store!
And here is a great PDF from TheraKids with loads of Fine Motor activities you can do at home.
Remembering that each child is different and that most resources offer an age range for milestones, focus on exposure and practice! Giving your child lots of opportunity for strengthening hand muscles and repeated skill practice will help them master the skills over time. Think back to when your child was a baby and achieved milestones at different speeds than their peers - rolling, sitting, walking, talking. Some children walk at 9 months, and others at 15 months - both are considered normal and the same applies to other physical milestones!
Here is a link to the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research document that highlights motor milestones on pages. For a more specific look at fine motor milestones, here are some screenshots from the document! Please note that while these are specific to particular ages, it is based off of averages and some children may definitely do these things earlier or later!
If you are concerned that your child isn't meeting milestones, always reach out to their pediatrician!
Happy Fine Motoring!