Fine motor skills are important both in child development and in special education.
Many times these skills are overlooked in the race to higher intelligence.
But children develop in stages and teaching skills of a higher stage will only create pseudo-skills without real understanding.
Fine motor skills are tasks that utilize the small muscles of the body like those in the fingers.
The fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the body that enable such functions as writing, grasping small object, and fastening clothing.
To be able to do all this, a person needs strength, fine motor control and dexterity.
Weakness in fine motor skills can affect a child’s ability to eat, write legibly, use a computer, turn pages in a book, and perform personal care tasks such as dressing and grooming.
While many children don’t have difficulties with gross motor skills (such as walking, running and jumping), fine motor skills require more control and more precise movements of smaller muscles.
Toddlers around a year of age are usually able to perform fine motor skills like holding a cup, grasping a spoon, picking up chunks of food and putting small objects into a larger container.
Usually at this age, there is not much involvement of the thumb.
As a child gets closer to two years of age, fine motor skills increases to include tasks like drawing with a crayon, using a fork or a spoon with more precision and stacking small objects like blocks.
Closer to three and four years of age, children begin to master fine motor skills like zipping, snapping and buttoning clothing and drawing and writing skills show marked improvements.
Fine motor skills are essential precursors for many of the skills students need to complete academic skills.
Such as cutting with scissors, writing, and keyboarding.
Since fine motor control is a very important skill to master for writing, it is important to make sure your child is continually improving those skills.
When you are working with your child to develop fine motor skills you’ll want to build hand strength, independent manipulation of both hands, and hand-eye coordination.
You can encourage your child’s development in this area by offering plenty of opportunity to practice.
Also try to avoid doing things that might hinder fine motor development, like feeding your child from a spoon instead of letting him pick pieces of food off his a plate.
Allow your child to practice new skills and better his dexterity as soon as he shows interest.
Good small muscle coordination and fine motor skills help your child gain more independence.
There are many ways to develop fine motor skills.
The following exercises were created by Kichwa special education teachers from recycled material.
They are cheap to make but effective to use.
By helping your child to practice the activities in this article you can help your toddler, or bigger child, to sharpen her fine motor skills.