Easy, at-home activities to help your kiddo flex those l’il muscles
Fine motor skills are an important part of a child’s developmental process. Without strong fine motor skills, our kids wouldn’t be able to tie their shoelaces, use a pencil or even feed themselves! Using materials you probably already have lying around at home, here are 10 easy activities that encourage the strengthening of those little muscles.
Play with Playdough!
Playing with playdough is an excellent way to encourage the manipulation of tiny fingers and muscles. As they knead the dough and form different shapes, they are helping the muscles grow while having fun too! Give your child a rolling pin and small shape cutters to work different areas of their hands.
Tongs and Pegs
Using tongs is a fantastic way to focus on the muscles that are connected to the ability to hold a pencil. Provide your kids with a couple of bowls, some pompoms and tongs. Let them move the pompoms from one bowl to another. After this they can graduate to doing the same activity with a clothes peg. Simple!
Beads on a String
Get a piece of string or a shoelace and firmly knot one end. Threading beads onto a string is a terrific way to try and control the actions of both hands (and sets of fingers) at the same time!
Eat and Learn
Our kiddies love any activity that involves eating! Put dry cereal into a bowl and let your tot use their fingers to extract them – this one is aimed at our tiny tots who are just starting to control their fingers. Choose a variety of different shapes and sizes for them to play and eat with!
Peeling fruit is another great (and edible!) way to get fingers stronger. Peeling an orange or a banana can boost fine motor skills and can easily be added to your daily routine. Plus, little ones are always wanting to get involved, so this is a great way to include them during snack time prep!
Continuing with our food theme, get hold of some uncooked penne pasta and spaghetti. Encourage your child to thread the pasta onto the spaghetti. You can add a marshmallow on one end to stop the pasta slipping off…yum!
Scoop it Up!
Using a spoon or ladle, scoop things from one place to another to create a fine motor activity. Take a look around the house for medium to small sized objects that your child can scoop. We love using beads, cereal and even Lego pieces!
Speaking of Lego, those little blocks are another awesome fine motor activity. When they are playing, kids will be use their finger muscles to click the blocks together and pull them apart again. Duplo or Megablocks are great for the younger ones!
Those little finger and hand rhymes you learned as a child all utilise fine motor skills! Try Daddy Finger, Pat-a-Cake, 5 Little Sausages or Open Shut Them. This has the added benefit of improving language and memory skills while working on the little hands.
Pencils and Paintbrushes
It’s not too early to introduce writing and drawing tools. They don’t have to hold them correctly at first, just use any grip they are comfortable with to make marks and be creative. When they are ready and their grip is stronger, you can correct their hold.