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.
NO! STOP!
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

Marbles for Learning

  • 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

source: www.learnwithplayathome.com  

source: www.learnwithplayathome.com

Explorations with marbles. An invitation to play

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)

source: jojoebi-designs
source: jojoebi-designs

 

Montessori Pincer Muscles Exercises

Golf tees, polystyrene and tongs make this a fine motor challenge – balance those cats eyes

 

RESOURCES

ACECQA – Supporting Children’s Development – Fine Motor Skills

*Fingergym – Fine Motor Development

MORE FINE MOTOR ACTIVITIES

http://www.learning4kids.net/list-of-fine-motor-play-activities/

http://theimaginationtree.com/2013/09/40-fine-motor-skills-activities-for-kids.html

http://www.prekinders.com/fine-motor-skills/

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