A young mom helping her child to develop her fine motor skillsGood fine motor skills are a determining factor to your child’s academic success.  As a parent, you play a very important role in your child’s overall development, and this includes the development of their fine motor skills. One of the most important things that you can do for your child’s development is giving them fun and interactive opportunities which will help them develop these skills in a natural way.

Fine motor skills refer to the flexibility and strength of the small muscles in the hands, wrists and fingers. We use these skills almost constantly for everyday activities.  Things like getting dressed, eating, grasping toys, writing, and many more. The ability to complete these skills on their own is what helps to foster independence, which in turn helps to boost a child’s self-esteem.

It’s very important to make sure that you help your child to develop their fine motor skills from a young age. Some children may struggle with performing some of these tasks, often leading them to become upset and frustrated. As a result, they may want to completely avoid the task all together. Here are some great ways to develop these vital skills, while keeping it fun.

Take part in activities such as:

• Colouring – here are some great, free colouring pages from Crayola to download.

• Cutting

• Writing

• Playing with play dough

• Picking up blocks

• Building Puzzles

• Beading necklaces

• Building Legos

• Brushing teeth

• Cutting and eating food

• Tying shoes

Your child’s fine motor skills will gradually increase as they do various activities to help strengthen the specific muscles. Try to encourage your child to play and explore different activities as this further helps to develop their coordination

There are many benefits to having well developed fine motor skills:

• Children are able to perform crucial tasks on their own

• Hand-eye coordination is improved

• Children learn to use a variety of tools such as chalk, crayons, scissors, pencils, cutlery.

• Children develop their handwriting skills

• Your child will feel more competent and will likely become more independent as a result.

• It helps to boost their self-esteem

Watch this video on how to support your child’s fine motor skills.

For more information about the development of fine motor skills or to book a consultation, contact Anel at anel@childpsych.co.za.