The idea of building fine motor skills and coordination may seem daunting! However, these are simple concepts that parents can understand and help to develop in their children.
- Fine motor skills involve the use of both your fingers and hands and the coordination of these movements with your smaller muscles.
- Coordination is the ability to use various parts of your body together efficiently.
The big question: How do we as teachers and parents build these skills?
Fine Motor Skills
When developing fine motor skills necessary to cope with the demands of Grade R, we look at how we can develop the smaller muscles in our hands and fingers. This is done through activities such as:
- Playing with play dough
- Creating pasta necklaces
- Tearing paper
- Using scissors
- Using glue to stick paper or other objects
- Building puzzles
- Playing with food and feeding themselves
- Colouring in
- Drawing and painting
- Playing with sand or water
- Building with blocks or lego
- Learning to brush their teeth
Additionally skills like coordination are also essential when starting Grade R. Parents can assist their children in developing their coordination by:
- Practicing balancing on one foot
- Throwing and catching a ball
- Walking backwards
- Playing tug of war
- Jumping on a trampoline or jumping castle
- Playing sports like football or tennis
- Learning to ride a bicycle or tricycle
- Learning to play a musical instrument
It is important that preschoolers develop their coordination and fine motor skills as these are essential for their development. They help with various daily activities in both the classroom and on the playground. By creating activities that get children to use their fingers and their hands, you’ll be assisting them in developing their fine motor skills. These skills will build the foundation for writing, being able to pick up and manipulate books, tie shoelaces and do various art activities. By developing coordination, children will show more confidence in walking, running, climbing and will have more fun on the playground. This is important for their self-confidence, and for almost all activities they’ll need to do as an adult.
How Can BrightSparkz Help?
Not sure where to start? BrightSparkz’s Little Sparkz™ is a fantastic way to introduce the basics of fine motor skills and coordination, as well as some other important skills your child will need in addition, such as memory. During each lesson, your child will have the opportunity to strengthen their pencil grip, practice colouring in, using a paintbrush, using glue to stick objects, handling paper and other materials in art activities, as well as learning to cut. Here’s what a happy Mom had to say about Little Sparkz™:
“In just 3 sessions they went from not being able to cut with scissors at all, to being able to cut out small objects. They also quickly learnt the difference between big and small letters in writing their names. I think all preschool kids would benefit from this program. Big schools seem to expect so much from kids at Kindergarten level and the leap is just too big for most kids. This program really seems to bridge that gap!”
Written by Jade Hales, ECD student and BrightSparkz Blog Writer. This article first appeared on brightsparkz.co.za.