So many children are coming to school without their fine motor skills developed. We have modern technology to thank for that. Now days, kindergarteners can swipe and pinch on tablets and phones, yet they can barely hold a crayon or use scissors properly.
It is now more important then ever for our little ones to develop their fine motor skills in the primary grades. Having a strong foundation in fine motor skills will transfer into other academic areas such as writing. But more importantly fine motor skills are also life skills. children need fine motor skills to do very basic tasks like tying their own shoes or zipping and buttoning their clothing.
Children who lack the ability to perform these everyday tasks could develop low self-esteem or suffer academically. As the workload increases, children who have weak hand muscles find writing very difficult. Often they are unable to complete assignments. Teachers may see them as non-complaint or academically challenged.
So, how can we help these students from the beginning of the school year? Or, if you are a parent reading this, what can you do at home to better prepare your child so they are ready when they begin school?
We can start by giving our little ones lots of opportunities to use their hands and fingers. Look for ways to incorporate fine motor activities into academics at school and daily life at home.
Fine Motor Tools:
You'd be surprised at how many things you can find that can be turned into fine motor tools. Just a walk through your local Dollar store and you will be sure to find more than enough things to add to your curriculum.
ice cube trays
Lego like blocks
Some of these items are obvious on how to use them others might not be.
Tongs- use them to pick up beads, pompom, or gems from ice-cube trays
Chenille stems- poke them through the holes of a colander threading in and out, string beads on them. twist into shapes.
Decorative Scissors:- these are harder to use then regular scissors. Have kids cut construction paper up. They just love cutting.
Play-doh- just playing with it helps build strength in hands
Hole Puncher- Punch paper great for hand strength
Below are some examples of activities
For students who have difficulty have them lie on their stomach to cut. This forces them to hold the scissors in the correct position. You will be amazed at how quickly their scissor skills will improve.
I also have created an entire new set of resources for Fine Motor Learning that uses many of these items listed above while focussing on literacy skills. I have put them together in a Bundle or you can purchase them individually if you would like.
Want to include Fine Motor Activities into your Free Choice Time. Sometimes I give STRUCTURED FREE CHOICE, really we are working on fine motor skills. I usually do this at the start of the year, when I am demonstrating how we rotate for centers.
Its a win-win- I get center rations in for practice and they work on fine motor skills, yet they think they are playing. Below are some Items I found on Amazon that I use in my classroom for fine motor skills activities. Please note Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The commission is used to purchase additional resources for my student
What activities do you use in your class to help your little ones, do yu have some special tip or trick- i'd love to hear- leave me coment below.