As parents, we always wonder if we’re doing the best we can for our kids. It’s something that just comes with the job of being a parent. We’re always unlearning and relearning new things that help develop our kids. Today, let’s talk about to develop fine motor skills in your toddlers, especially those aged between 2 and 4, and whether or not we need to engage them in more activities that will help strengthen those skills.
Now, we know that fine motor skills for toddlers are the coordination between small muscles in the hands, like the fingers and wrists. Do they develop on their own or do we have to play a role in that development? Honestly, like every other muscle in the body, fine motor skills also will develop on its own to a certain extent. And, again, like every other muscle in the body, it takes a set of exercises and activities to strengthen them further.
Today, there are a variety of activities that you can engage your child in to develop these skills. The best ones are those that help improve concentration, hand-eye coordination and grip. Let’s take a look at few of them:
Between the ages of 2-3 years, your child will:
1.Fold the paper in half.
2.Draw lines and circles.
3.Imitate you to draw the cross.
4.Turn single pages in a book.
5.Using scissors to cut the edge of paper (30 months)
6.Hold the crayon with your thumb and fingers.
7.Use one hand more often than the other for most activities.
9.Solve Jigsaw Puzzles
11.Sorting and Segregating Activities
At the age of 2, is when you start teaching your kids the alphabet and numbers at home. Give them some play dough and show them how to make alphabets, numbers and shapes with the clay.
Here, they will use their memory to recall what the number looks like, they will concentrate while moulding the dough into the alphabets or shapes and at the same time it’s a physical activity that is allowing them to work on grip, wrist and finger movements, and hand-eye coordination. It’s a fun way for kids to get along with their siblings and other kids, it isn’t messy and it keeps them occupied for quite a bit.
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Source: Mother Goose Club Playhouse to to develop fine motor skills in toddlers.
Here is an activity that you can enjoy online as well as physically to develop fine motor skills in your toddlers. Apart from the traditional physical jigsaw puzzles, today, there are apps like Skidos that have online jigsaw puzzles for toddlers where you can choose from 6, 12 and 24 pieces depending on the age of your child. When kids try and put the pieces together, it does wonders for their memory.
They see a whole picture and then jumble up the pieces allowing them to work on their cognitive ability to recall the image. Along with movement of fingers and hand-eye coordination, this activity helps the child develop skills like retention, concentration and focus, thus, sharpening the mind further.
Time and again, activities that involve colors have proven to be the most effective when it comes to kids. It’s filled with fun, positivity, learning, and it’s a great way to keep kids occupied. The activities involving colors are endless. You’ve got coloring books, coloring apps, painting on blank canvases, finger painting, wall painting and a whole lot of other activities that you can just make up along the way.
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The benefit, as you might have guessed, is pretty much the same as the above activities. Kids will improve their grip when they hold the crayons and paint brushes, their hand eye coordination will get better because they will be careful not to paint outside the borders, and the wrist also gets a lot of exercise because of the strokes of the paintbrush. Today, along with physical coloring books, you’ll find loads of coloring activities online as well on apps like Skidos.
Sorting and Segregating – Motor Skills In Toddlers Activities
This is another activity that parents have found useful over the years to improve fine motor skills in toddlers kids. You could take anything from pebbles to buttons and make up a sorting game for your child.
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Ask them to sort them based on color or in groups or 3s or 4s. We all are aware that kids are curious and love to touch anything that remotely excites them. And let’s admit that almost anything excites them!
Shells collected from the beach, pebbles collected from the trip to the lake, beads from the sewing kit, the list is endless. Although, it is advised to use items that are not very tiny as there’s the fear of children swallowing them.
Ask the kids to place them from one dish to the other, sort them basis color or shape, or simply give them some thread and teach them how to make a necklace. Everything from hand-eye coordination, concentration, small muscle movement and fun will be achieved through this activity. Be sure to be in the room when they are playing with these items.
There are many more similar activities and games that you can make up, find online or buy at the store that can help in improving fine motor skills in children. These activities may seem miniscule, but it’s always best to keep children engaged in various deeds that will strengthen their muscles, focus and cognitive skills while allowing them to have an enjoyable time while developing their fine motor skills.
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