Fine motor activity in the early year's help children refine their pincer grasp (grasping an object with their thumb and pointer finger using their preferred hand) and are a precursor to handwriting.
Below is a list of nine fine motor activities that can assist early writers:
1. Use 2 different markers, one in your left hand, one in your right. Start at opposite points on a piece of paper, and draw towards the middle. Create zig-zags on the paper. It really wakes up your brain!
2. Have two bowls or buckets with warm water in them. Soak a sponge or face washer in one bucket, then squeeze out the sponge over the other bucket. Try to squeeze out as much water as possible. This is a fun activity for the bath!
3. One by one, touch the fingers of each hand to your thumb. Go slowly, pressing the thumb and finger together at the tips when they meet. Do the left and right hands at the same time.
4. Roll balls of playdough, and then squish them down one by one, using only one finger. Alternate which finger you use so that you are exercising all of your fingers. Make the balls different sizes so that the amount of pressure needed differs.
5. Make a ring with your thumb and pointer of one hand. Put the pointer finger of the other hand through the hole, then make a ring with that hand. Pull against each hand - not so hard that the rings come apart, but hard enough to stretch the fingers.
6. Use tongs to remove small/slippery items from a bowl.
7. Use scissors or a knife to cut playdough.
8. Use your preferred hand to trace around your non-preferred hand. Then swap - it’s hard!
9. Lay your hand flat on the table, and then lift one finger at a time.
Fine motor skills are those that involve a refined use of the small muscles which control the hand, fingers, and thumb. With the development of these skills, a child is able to complete important tasks such as writing, feeding oneself, buttoning and zipping.
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