Both Ally and Max have never had problems with their gross motor skills. Ally in particular had excellent gross motor skills, she could crawl at 5 1/2 months and was cruising around by 6 months. Max too was an early crawler, and both walked by their 1st birthday.
Ally has always struggled with her fine motor skills, even holding a pencil is tiring for her. It’s only recently that she has gotten the hang of the tripod grip.
Without having to go out and spend lots of money on materials, there are many simple ways to improve fine motor skills. I’ll share a few favourites with you.
Both the kids love water play, we don’t have time for it during the weekdays but on weekends, they are allowed to play in the bath tub for as long as they want. I give them an assortment of plastic bottles, containers and cups to play around with. They love pouring water from container to container and I don’t mind if they make a mess since it’s all contained in the shower area.
The children have received numerous play doh sets for birthdays and Christmas presents. If you don’t want to buy any, there are lots of home-made play doh recipes online. It’s great to strengthen their finger muscles and best of all, it’s fun.
This is great for slightly older children. Ally loves cutting out things, you don’t have to buy expensive cut out books. Usually I give her an old catalogue and get her to cut out “coupons” for me. Even an old newspaper will do though a single page might be quite flimsy and hard to cut through.
Art and Craft
Mama J has a great idea for simple art boxes, which kid doesn’t love stickers? I’ve found that Max and even Ally struggle with peeling stickers off the sheet but with some practice , they are getting the hang of it. My cousin bought a box of Do-A-Dot markers for the children and I think they are amazing. They are chunky which makes them easy to grip and never seem to run out of ink. I know they are sold locally but can be quite pricey, he bought theirs for only $12 US.
Every child likes to be useful and help out. One of Ally’s favourite things to do is to help me wash the rice. I usually leave her to it and then re-wash it again once she gets bored, same goes for veggies. If we are having baby spinach, she helps me to pluck out the leaves and separate them from the stems.
What other ways do you encourage your child to build up their fine motor skills? I would love to hear your thoughts.