Fine motor skills are an important part of development in a young child. It encourages them to use their wrists and hands to complete simple tasks. In fact, everyone needs their fine motor skills for activities such as eating, dressing, cleaning, writing, and painting. This is why it is important to help children develop these skills while they are still young.
You can use the following Montessori methods to introduce items and activities to help your child build their fine motor skills.
Arts and Crafts
There are plenty of arts and crafts projects that can boost their fine motor skills. You may want to start with an activity as simple as drawing, coloring, or painting, or maybe you want to teach your child how to use safety scissors. Another option is to introduce your little one to the wonderful world of finger painting or join art workshops to explore their creativity.
Building with blocks is also a great idea because your child needs to grasp and move the blocks to stack and build with them. It is helpful to start with some children’s big building blocks because they are easier to grab and hold. You may eventually decide to add smaller blocks to the mix once they become more comfortable with using their hands. Starting with large and simplistic toys can help your child strengthen their hand muscles without feeling overwhelmed.
Puzzles are a great way to develop and enhance their fine motor skills because they are grasping and moving the pieces to their appropriate spaces. Start with foam or wooden puzzles, especially if they have bigger pieces. You can graduate to more challenging jigsaw puzzles when your child is ready.
Another idea is to let your child explore with various colors of play-doh. The wide color selection encourages them to create different animals and objects, which they are going to need their fingers and hands to accomplish. The constant movement helps your child to build their fine motor skills.
Kinetic sand, slime, or the combo of the two called SLIMYSAND are all great tactile compounds for your children to play with.
Sensory Table Fun
There is no limit to the amount of fun your child can have working on their fine motor skills with a sensory table. From kinetic sand and play-doh to rice, noodles, dry beans, and water beads, you can keep your child busy learning through play with a sensory table.
The most popular one is called the FLISAT from Ikea. You can find other similar tables on Etsy. You don’t need a sensory table to do sensory activities though. Just get shallow buckets (or even a roasting pan) and create a safe space for your child to play with the sensory bins at your kitchen table or other child-friendly location.
A great item to start with is a kit from Busy Box Child filled with themed items that are great for improving children’s fine motor skills.
You can also help your child enhance their fine motor skills by allowing them to help with tasks around the house. For example, your child needs to use their hands and wrists to help you stir cake batter, place cups on the dining table, wipe down the counters, or help cut fruit.
There are many other activities that can boost their fine motor skills, from brushing their teeth to helping you in the garden. You can also continue to enhance their skills through play with water, bubbles, or water beads.
The more you encourage your child to use their hands and wrists, the easier it is going to be to enhance their fine motor skills.