Fine motor skills need developing in early childhood to prepare children for the future.
Often the learning focus is fine motor skills as a pre-writing activity. But there are many reasons children need to develop fine motor dexterity.
- Doing up buttons;
- lacing shoes;
- using pegs/zips/velcro;
- eating with a knife and fork;
- using scissors;
- holding a pencil, a paintbrush;
- manipulating a computer mouse…the list goes on.
Fine motor exercises help develop coordination of small muscle movements in wrists and fingers. They build up strength and assist with hand-eye coordination. So, it’s simple – get the pencils and scissors out, the more children use them the better.
Using scissors to cut wavy and zigzag lines or line making with crayons/pencils aren’t the only ways to improve fine motor skills. Some experts even argue those activities are counter productive in preschool*.
Instead get out the marbles and get creative with fine motor skill learning experiences
MANIPULATING with MARBLES
Ideas from the Educa Pinterest board
- hide marbles in playdough
- cut up pool noodles into 2cm lengths and use tongs to place the marbles in the holes
- use a small brush to sweep marbles around on a tray
- scoop marbles using teaspoons into plastic bottles
Set up an area where marbles can be explored, rolled, dropped, gathered in handfuls and shared out between containers
Use a container with slightly larger than marble sized holes in the lid for transferring (use oversize tweezers to make it more challenging)
Golf tees, polystyrene and tongs make this a fine motor challenge – balance those cats eyes