What Are Fine Motor Skills?
Gross motor skills involve the large muscles in the arms, legs and torso where they’re involved in running, jumping, lifting and more. On the other hand, fine motor skills use the smaller muscle of the hands, commonly in activities like using cutlery, stationary, opening and closing boxes etc.
Both gross and fine motor skills are encouraged to be explored in both the baby and early toddler stages. Developing the dexterity of a little kid’s fingers and hands will eventually lead to the mastering of many essential skills such as self-feeding, writing, teeth-brushing, self-button up shirts and more.
The proficiency develops more quickly if kids are given more activities to use their hands to explore the things and environment around them.
Effects of Bad Fine Motor Skills
As an adult, we tend to overlook the complexity of using our hands because we are used to it. But for kids, especially in early stages, they have not grasped that the task we are completing requires a certain skill set and the use of certain muscles. Just like standing up lead walking, a baby also needs time and practice to properly use their hands and fingers.
If a kid is unable to do these everyday tasks, it will affect their self-confidence . Low self esteem will also affect the ability to develop self-care, independence skills, and also their academic performance. Some of the examples are:
- Bad handwriting
- Take time to pick up objects
- Difficulty in using both hands
- Hard to tying shoelaces
- Problems with precision when steadying and manipulating objects
5 Ways to Increase Kids’ Fine Motor Skills
Kath + Belle has prepared 5 ways that are effective for teaching toddlers to hone their fine motor skills:
- Playdough – Playdough is a safe and fun way to teach kids to hold and manipulate an object. Just make sure your playdough is made from reliable ingredients and free from toxic chemicals. Remember to wash their hands after they’re done playing.
- Painting & Drawing– These activities not only develop fine motor skills but also help with their creativity and imagination. Motivate them to use crayons, paint brushes and finger paints. Who knows your kids could be the next Picasso!
- Brushing Teeth – Never underestimate this daily mundane activity. Learning how to brush teeth at an early age comes with a lot of benefits. It improves your kid’s teeth hygiene and improves their teeth brushing competency.
- Cutting Using Scissors – Using scissors is a great way to strengthen the motor skills and improve concentration. Improved concentration develops the ability to coordinate hand and eye movements better.
- Help With Cooking – Get them to help you when you’re cooking. It doesn’t have to be the dangerous parts such as cutting and chopping but mixing the ingredients, holding cups and pouring juice will do wonders!