Good fine motor skills are a very important part of early school success. Fine motor skills are directed by the small muscle groups that control hands and fingers. They support cutting, coloring, tying shoes, printing, etc.
Here are five simple and fun activities you can do at home to help your young student enhance these critical skills:
- Let him practice coloring on different surfaces, such as thick and thin cardboard, or on a piece of paper that is over a small section of screen. You could also try taping a large piece of paper to a rough inside or outside wall, for drawing or printing practice.
- Encourage her to use different types of writing instruments crayons, such as crayons with glitter, thick and thin washable markers, thick and thin pencils, erasable pens, colored chalk, sidewalk chalk, or wooden craft sticks for drawing and writing in sand.
- Let him experiment with tracing paper. For example, help him find a picture of his favorite dinosaur and trace it, so he has a product of his own. Or, let him trace inside stencils, or around cookie cutters, than cut out the tracings to create a picture or collage.
- With pipe cleaners and small beads, help her make patterns to create bracelets. Or, use five blue and five red beads to create a small, wearable abacus for her wrist. This can be used for simple addition and subtraction practice to the number ten.
- Practice number recognition with some index cards and clip-on clothes pins. For example, print a numeral 4 on the middle of the card, and let him pinch and clip the correct number of clothes pins to the card. Or download the Color Word Pizza from our Print and Use tools and let him clip the matching clothes pins to the correct color name.
Children who struggle with fine motor skills are often frustrated and reluctant to do tasks that are required in kindergarten and 1st grade. Easy activities like these can help young children develop and strengthen these essential skills. Then they will be ready to show peers and teachers how capable they really are!