What are fine motor skills and why is it so important?
Imagine life without fingers, you will not be able to function as you do. For kids it is important to exercise those muscles in the pre school years to be able to learn to write once in school. If a child does not have control over these muscles, he/she will find it difficult to have control over a pencil and in essence to learn to write.
From babytime a child has to develop fine motor skills. Between the age of 3-4 months babies start bringing things that is put in their hands to their mouths to explore, by 4 months they will try and pick up an item by raking it closer to them with their arms and the whole hand. By month 5 baby will rake items with the four fingers, without much help of the thumb. Only around month 6/7 they start trying to pick up small items with the help of the thumb.
By 8 months, place these small food in a small container/cup where baby must take it out by only using his/her thumb and forefinger. Another activity is to stick a big sticker on baby’s hand and show him how to pull it of.
Make it yourselves with any tub or box, I like to use see through items, but any tub like an empty margerine tub will work. I taped around the slot, just to prevent any cuts.
With a toddler/preschooler you can help develop those fine motor skills through arts and craft activities like these:
The basic rule here is, the younger the child, the bigger the item, for example: use a bigger bead for a 3 year old than for a 6 year old, thicker brush for younger children, thinner brush for older kids etc.