Simple Activities to Improve Your Child’s Motor Development
Mastering motor development skills is an important milestone for children. There are two areas of development. One is fine motor skills which are needed for tasks such as using zippers, tying shoes, fastening buttons, and writing. Gross motor skills are utilized for everyday tasks such as getting out of bed, or walking. The development of your child’s motor skills is important because with each learned skill is gained independence, and improved hand-eye coordination. Also, fine motor skills are the foundation for learning. For example, learning to write is based on well-developed fine motor skills. Participating in sports later is based on dexterity and coordination. However, sometimes a child may need a little extra help in developing these skills. Here are some tips on how to assist your child’s motor development.
This is one of the easiest strategies in building motor development skills. It helps with wrist and finger strengthening as well as hand-eye coordination. Start with large wooden blocks that are easy to grasp. One your child has mastered those, you can start with smaller objects.
2. Use Utensils
Make sure your child uses a fork or a spoon at every meal. It may seem frustrating at first to watch your child struggle, but letting her do it on her own will give your child a sense of accomplishment, as well as help develop fine motor skills.
Small children are sometimes overwhelmed with weight and size of a baseball. Try mixing it up with smaller objects, all different sizes, but easier to handle than a baseball. Lightweight balls such as a beach ball is a colorful alternative. You could also used a rolled up sock, a bean bag, or even a stuffed animal.
4. Use the Pincer Grasp
This is a fundamental skill that everyone learns. To help your child improve their coordination and strengthen their grasp, have them pick up small objects. Cheerios while they are in a high chair is a nutritious snack that will also improve their pincer grasp.
5. Use Creativity
Children love to express themselves through crafts. Fine motor skill development can be encouraged when your child colors, paints, strings bead or rigatoni noodles, glues macaroni to cardboard, or works with play dough.
6. Indoor Flashlight Game
Both you and your child need to have flashlights. This is a game of tag where you turn off all the lights, then you shine your light on the wall. Move your light around while your child tries to follow with their own flashlight. When their light “tags” yours then the child gets to lead and you follow.
There are many useful games and toys to assist with your child’s motor development. Some of the best and easiest strategies involve simply encouraging your child to persevere through difficulty when learning a new skill. Whether working with puzzles, stringing beads, or playing catch, it is important that you show patience and work with your child.