Fun Ways to Develop Fine Motor Skills at Home
Date Posted:31 July 2020
Motor skills development starts from birth through pre-school. How much they develop in this period will affect how they progress through the rest of their life. You can read more about the importance of fine motor skills development on our Piptree Kids blog.
There are plenty of fun ways that you can play with your child at home to help them develop fine motor skills. Like many other skill developments in early childhood, child-led education is the best way to keep your child engaged and excited!
Here are some exciting activities that you can do to help your child develop the muscles in their arms and hands:
1. Gross Motor Skills1
The development of gross motor skills, that is their ability to control their limbs, is crucial for further fine motor development. These are some home-friendly activities you can try with your child at home.
Trampolines are a great way to help your child improve their balance. They are also helpful in providing your child with the sensory input they require. This can be a fun and easy way to build their leg and arm muscles as they try to balance on the trampoline. Keep in mind to always follow safety rules. You can read more about the benefits here.
Hopping and jumping requires strong gross motor skills, balance, and coordination! Hopscotch is a fun and simple way to practice those skills. If you don't have a sidewalk to draw on, you can try using household items to create the boxes! This will also encourage your child to use their hands to pick up and place items on the ground, thereby using their hands and developing their fine motor skills.
This is a great way to build gross motor skills as children will run and jump, moving in different directions and having to catch the ball or balloon. Using balloons or beach balls will be great for younger children. You can set up a little game of volleyball or soccer for your child and their friends or siblings!
Hosting a dance party can be good for gross motor skill development! Whether it is held indoors or outdoors in the backyard, it helps your child develop balance, coordination, and motor sequencing skills. You can add little musical instruments they can hold on to while dancing such as maracas, castanets, or tambourines to train their fine motor skills as well!
This is a fun way to get your child moving and practice those gross and fine motor skills! You can use furniture, pillows, and blankets to create an obstacle course indoors. If you're playing outdoors, you can do more physical challenges like jumping jacks or bear crawl to train their muscles.
2. Fine Motor Skills
Threading items through a string can help train your child's pincer and pincher grips. They learn how to use their fingers and hands to manipulate objects. Use bigger objects and thicker strings for younger children as they start to move into developing fine motor skills. If your child likes animals as well, they might enjoy the Beleduc Animal Line. For older children who have already mastered the pincher grip and are looking to refine their pincer grip, Educo's Vetrovorm might be a toy they will enjoy. You can also use beads and pipe cleaners and turn them into an art project!
Playdough is a fun way to train the little muscles and tendons in your child's hand. This will help them when they eventually start holding a pencil or using a pair of scissors. Playdough is very versatile — you can poke it, squish it, squeeze it, roll it, flatten it, chop it, etc. They all work to develop your child's fine motor skills while also firing up their creative juices! You can also follow this recipe to make a safe and natural playdough. You can make it with your child which will help in their motor skills development while spending quality time together!
Art and Craft4
Painting and drawing can help strengthen your child's hand-eye coordination and the muscles in their hands. Painting with a brush can help to train your child to eventually move on to writing with a pencil as they learn how to control the brush. Finger painting is a great way for sensory play as they move their fingers and get messy with paint! Your child might also enjoy the Beleduc LogiPic as they get to create patterns with magnetic beads. It allows them to get creative while also developing their fine motor skills!
Gardening and Planting4
Digging and planting develop both gross and fine motor skills. Using shovels and spades to dig in the soil trains their arm strength and mobility. Transferring seedlings require fine motor skills as they move the plant into a new space. Squeezing the trigger on a spray bottle or using a watering can will help build the muscles in their hands and wrist! This can be done during family bonding time as well to build their social interaction skills and fine motor skills.
Skills development through a child-centred approach
These activities are fun and can be very engaging for your child. Let them choose what they are in the mood for that day. You could try giving them a few options and let them decide whic activity they'd like to do. Children learn best when they are engaged and interested!
A lot of these activities can be done with friends, siblings, or parents which will not only help in developing their fine motor skills but also build social interactions and bonds with other people.
1. Morin, A. 8 Gross Motor Skills Activities for Kids. (Link)
2. Ranson, A. 40 Fine Motor Skills Activities. (Link)
3. Ranson, A. The Benefits of Playing with Playdough. (Link)
4. Moring, A. 6 Fine Motor Skills Activities for Kids. (Link)