The motor skills or ability to perform movements and gestures accompanies us from birth and is perfected during growth. Basically, motor skills are divided into two types: gross and fine, depending on the groups of muscles involved in the movement that is performed.
Gross motor skills help us to use the long muscles of the body for crawling, walking, running, jumping, climbing, cycling, swimming, and other physical activities.
Fine motor skills are those that have to do with the short and precise movements of our hands and feet, such as the ability to hold a pencil, tie the braids of our shoes, and also with the muscles of the face when we make faces.
The baby develops fine motor skills by exploring the world through touch: by touching, grasping and releasing objects within reach. Then you will learn to play with them and in this way you will exercise the muscles of the hands and forearms, thus obtaining precision in the grip and control of your own strength.
When children use their hands to do tasks, the coordination between their hands and their eyesight is improved. This is especially necessary to learn to color, draw and later, read and write, activities that will be necessary for her schooling and that she will use for the rest of her life.
Fine motor skills are usually well developed between the ages of five and seven, which is when children begin to learn to write, but it can always be improved with activities that involve manual labor.
Here is a list of 15 activities that can be done at home to work on fine motor skills:
- Throwing objects or toys in a box: With the dynamics of grabbing and throwing, both fine motor skills (grabbing) and gross motor skills (throwing) are worked on.
- Fill a toperware with rice and hide letters, numbers, figures, puzzle pieces or whatever you want to stimulate pincer movement with your fingers and work hand-eye coordination.
- Throw a ball, cart or toy with wheels for your child to look for it, bend over to pick it up, and try to throw it back at you.
- Play with water: Squeezing a sponge or filling and emptying a container with water are simple games that help strengthen baby’s hands. Adding bubbles will make it even more fun.
- Make numbers or letters with shaving cream. Vegetable coloring can be added to make the cream colorful. If it is in the baby stage, you can use yogurt or perhaps whip cream.
- Matriuskas: You can make something similar to Russian dolls with toperwares or containers of different sizes and that the child puts one inside the other.
- Construction: Encourage him to make towers and structures with cubes, legos, plastic cups, or any other group of objects with similar characteristics.
- Follow the clue: Choose a couple of carts or small toys with wheels and mark a route that your child must follow with his. Then reverse the roles and have him mark the path that you must follow. You can also draw a clue on a large poster board.
- Threading pasta necklaces: One of the girls’ favorite activities, making necklaces and bracelets using a thick thread and short cylindrical pasta.
- Tearing papers: It is a development prerequisite for writing, since fine motor skills are developed in all its splendor. Do not rush the clamp, do not rush the scissors, there are previous skills that you must consolidate.
- Hands in the dough: Ask him to help you make a snack, use different shaped cutters to make cookies, or encourage him to make different shapes and sizes of bread.
- Coloring and drawing: Give him colored pencils and paper, over time he will learn the best way to hold them and apply just enough pressure so that the tip does not break or his fingers are mistreated.
- Cut and paste: Encourage him to make a collage by cutting and pasting pictures from magazines. If you are older you can start your own scrapbook.
- Do and undo. To enhance his fine motor skills, ask him to help you screw and unscrew caps, fasten and undo buttons, or tie and untie the braids of the shoes.
- Sleight of hand: Whether clapping games accompanied by songs as in the case of girls or others such as Rock, Paper or Scissors, sleight of hand helps hand-eye coordination.
These are some simple examples of activities that don’t require much planning or difficulty; They also do not require a large amount of materials and, nevertheless, they will provide a time of entertainment for your child.
With this I want you to observe that the main thing is not to plan a complex, expensive or time-consuming activity, but to understand that children love and enjoy playing simple and fun games in their daily lives and, above all, keeping in mind that one of their favorite moments in these activities is being able to do them and enjoy them with mom or dad.
How to make homemade modeling clay
Here is a recipe to make your own plasticine, it is very easy and requires few ingredients, all of which are commonly used at home:
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- Vegetable dyes in liquid or gel.
Put the ingredients (minus the food coloring) in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly so that it does not burn, until the mixture peels off the walls and forms a ball. Take off the heat and let it cool; then knead for a couple of minutes, separate into parts and add a drop of food coloring to each one, then knead until the color is uniform and voila! Store in plastic containers or airtight bags between games.