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EYFS Activities – Supporting SEND… Motricity

What can settings do to support fine and gross motor skills? Georgina Durrant Reporting

Motor development is often divided into fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Fine motor activities involve developing those little muscles in the hands, fingers, and wrist that are needed for important tasks like learning to write, making buttons, and using a knife and fork. Gross motor activities, on the other hand, aim to develop the large core muscles by jumping, climbing, etc. Gross motor skills are also essential when learning to write, as a child must be able to control their posture (stability of their abdominal muscles) to sit comfortably and write effectively.

There are many wonderful activities you can do with babies, toddlers and young children to help develop fine and gross motor skills through play. is the best way to develop motor skills in young children.

Here are two fun activities that develop motor skills:

PASTA TOWERS

Suitable for: toddlers and preschoolers

A simple yet addictive activity that helps children develop their fine motor skills and concentration as they carefully build a tower of pasta.

Note: This activity may pose a choking hazard with uncooked pasta – please assess the risks yourself.

Equipment

  • Plasticine or sticky dough, raw spaghetti and pasta tubes.

How? ‘Or’ What

  • Put a small amount of modeling clay on a table, then plant a piece of spaghetti vertically on it so that it stands on its own on the table.
  • Encourage the child to ‘thread’ the tubes of dough onto the spaghetti until they reach the top, counting as they go – how many can they stack?
  • The kids could race against you or a friend to see how fast they can put the tubes on the spaghetti to get to the top without breaking the spaghetti in the process.

Alternatives

  • If you don’t have pasta tubes available, use plastic beads instead of pasta tubes to string the spaghetti or introduce stringing activities.

Extension activity

  • Use colored pasta (you can color it yourself with paint or buy different colors) and encourage children to make patterns by threading it on the spaghetti.

Skills developed

  • Numeracy.
  • Concentration.
  • Problem solving.
  • Motricity.

HIDE IT IN THE EGG BOX

Suitable for: babies and toddlers

Egg cartons are surprisingly difficult to open, making them the perfect resource for developing fine motor skills! Babies and toddlers love repetition, and this fun game of hiding and finding things inside an egg carton will not only help develop important skills, but also create some ongoing giggles of road.

Equipment

  • Clean egg carton, collection of baby-safe items to hide inside (this could be a piece of cloth, a ball or a small rattle).

How? ‘Or’ What

  • Choose a baby-safe object to hide in the egg carton.
  • Show the egg carton to the child and open it to find out what’s inside, before closing it.
  • Pass them the egg carton to explore, supporting them (if necessary) to open and close it.
  • Give him lots of praise and ask questions like “Where’s the ball?” “. And exclaim “Here’s the ball” when they find it.
  • Encourage them to try hiding the items inside too for you to “find” them.

Alternatives

  • Egg boxes are great because of the tricky opening that makes them brilliant for developing fine motor skills, but any box that closes would do. You can try jewelry boxes with a clasp or a simple wooden box with a lid that lifts.

Extension activity

  • You can make this activity even more tricky and exciting by hiding the egg carton inside another box. Added an extra difficulty level! It’s a bit like Russian dolls. Can they open the box and then the egg carton to find the toy?

Skills developed

  • Concentration.
  • Language and communication.
  • Problem solving.
  • Motricity.

ABOUT THIS SERIES

  • This article is part of an eight-part series on practical ways to support the development of life skills in children from birth to five years old, including those with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • Georgina Durrant is the author of 100 Ways Your Child Can Learn Through Play, a fun activity book that helps develop important skills for children with SEN. She is a former teacher/SENDCO, private tutor and founder of the SEN Resources blog: www.sen resourcesblog.com. Twitter: @senresourceblog Facebook: @senresourcesblog

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