Kids are Falling Behind
I recently read an article by Simon Leo Brown titled, “iPad Generation’s Fingers Not Ready to Write, Teachers Say.” You can read it here. Basically, it said that due to kids using tablets more than engaging in other activities, they are not developing the fine motor skills they need to write. Fine motor skills take time and practice to develop and control. Simply using a finger to swipe on a tablet just isn’t helping. Writing is still an important part of communication in our society, so we need to ensure that our children properly develop their fine motor skills. Sure, things are more electronic, but our kids still need to know how to properly write. So what can we do to help them develop fine motor skills?
5 Activities to Develop Fine Motor Skills
- Color & Write Use pencils, crayons, markers, and paints, and just sit and color with your child. Use coloring books, activity books, or just plain paper! Make sure to show them how to properly grasp the writing utensil: tripod grasps and quad grasps are most functional. You can buy pencil grips that aid in correcting a grasp, and for younger children, fatter writing tools are useful. You can practice writing by writing your child’s name with a highlighter and having them practice tracing the letters.
- Cut Bust out those kid scissors, and start cutting! Draw simple shapes on a piece of paper, and let your child cut them out! You could also draw various lines (curvy, zig-zag, straight) and have them cut along those. But paper isn’t the only thing you can cut. Try cutting playdough!! It’s fun to manipulate, and after they cut it all up, they can roll it all back together again! Again, you will want to be sure you demonstrate the proper way to hold and use scissors; thumb on top!
- Bead Buy a bag of fun beads and a pack of pipe cleaners and have your child thread the pipe cleaners through the beads. Pipe cleaners are easier than a thread for young children to manipulate, and the beads should stay on them pretty easily. If you can do this just as a fun activity, or you can make bracelets with them! As a bonus, you can practice sorting and patterns as well with the beads!! *Cheerios and Fruit Loops could also be used instead of beads*
- Tweezers & Eye Droppers Fill an ice cube tray with some of those little puff balls (easily found at a craft store) or water and have your child use either tweezers or an eye dropper to remove everything from each of the cubes. You can have a bowl or cup next to them to keep items contained. Then, you can have them put it all back into the ice cube tray. BONUS: if you are using water, add drops of food coloring to different cubes of the tray and play around with mixing colors!
- Stickers Peeling stickers can be a tricky task, but it definitely works those fine motor skills! Give your child a sheet of stickers and a blank piece of paper, and let go to town decorating!! If you really want to get some bang for your buck, you can have them draw a picture first, and then have them add stickers to it!