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Developing fine motor skills and why it’s important

Use these simple activities to help develop your child’s fine motor skills.

Fine motor skills can be thought of as the small movements of the muscles that involve using the hands and fingers together to perform a movement. Fine motor skills are movements such as pinching or grabbing. These types of movements are important for young children to practice as they develop as they help a child lay the groundwork for everyday tasks such as buttoning a shirt, tying shoe laces, grabbing a pencil, use utensils, type on a keyboard and more. . Fine motor skills can also help develop hand-eye coordination in young children.

Young children need time to practice fine motor skills in everyday situations. While it can be tempting for adults to jump in and finish buttoning or breaking shirts or pants or tying shoes because it’s faster, it’s important for young children to have the opportunity to. complete these activities as it helps them develop fine motor skills.

How can you help your child practice fine motor skills? Michigan State University Extension suggests these 10 Simple Activities to Try at Home. These activities will help develop hand-eye coordination, develop finger control, and help children learn to manipulate objects.

  1. Plasticine. Roll, squeeze, stretch, tap, hammer or use tools such as plastic knives, scissors or rolling pins to cut and roll.
  2. Finger painting. Use your fingers to paint pictures, letters or numbers.
  3. String noodles. Use dry noodles of all shapes and sizes and loop them onto twine or thread.
  4. Tweezers, clothespins or chopsticks. Use tweezers, clothespins, or chopsticks to pick up and sort items like beads, cereal, cotton balls, pom poms, or other small items (watch carefully for choking hazards).
  5. Pencils, markers, pencil, chalk. Draw, doodle or write.
  6. Plastic containers. Allow children to open and close empty plastic containers with lids.
  7. Buttons and zippers. Practice buttoning and unbuttoning, Zipping and unzipping.
  8. To pay. Place the items (corn, beads, cereal, etc.) in a small container, then have the children pour the items into an identical empty container.
  9. Legos and blocks. Connect, stack, build with Legos and blocks.
  10. Small change. Sort loose change into different containers with your fingers.

Practicing fine motor skills will help children have a solid foundation for their future daily tasks. For more activity ideas and articles on child development, academic success, parenting, and life skills development, please visit the Michigan State University Extension website.

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