I'm excited to share with you this guest post from Jill Loftus at Honest OT!
Fine motor skills are the small movements of the hands and fingers that are necessary for every task that a child completes–from play to handwriting/coloring/drawing, to managing clothing fasteners, to picking up toys and objects.
At Honest Occupational Therapy, we are passionate about ideas that will give your child a Helping Hand in the development of their fine motor skills. Many parents, caregivers, and educators ask about ways to promote fine motor skill development with children.
Check out these 5 tips to promote fine motor skills this summer!
1. Warm it UP
By engaging in gross motor and movement activities before tabletop tasks, the big muscles get what they need to allow the small muscles to shine! Summer is a perfect time for swimming, outdoor hiking and nature exploration and bike riding!
2. Don’t be so BROKEN up about it
Think your crayons do not work when they are broken? YES, THEY DO! By breaking your crayons, using small utensils, the fatter the better, a more mature grasp can be promoted. Color with chalk outside, try shadow or cloud drawing or trace your body on the sidewalk.
3. Position makes a difference
Fine motor activities are not just meant for the table. Try bringing the easel outside to color, lying on your belly on the patio or grass, or sitting on a large ball to make fine motor activities more fun and secretly challenging.
4. Be creative with tools and utensils
Check out the tools you have on the workbench or the utensils in the kitchen. Tweezers, tongs, garlic presses, pizza and cookie cutters, rolling pins, hammers, screwdrivers, pliers can all be used in creative ways to strengthen little hands and fingers. Don’t forget about those garden tools, helping to dig, plant seeds and water are not only great for building hand strength, but can also be fun sensory experiences!
5. The EYES have it
It is important to have your child’s eyes checked yearly by an optometrist. Eye health and function can impact a child’s performance with fine and gross motor skills, including handwriting and playing sports. Wearing a hat and/or sunglasses this summer protects your child’s eyes.
More than anything, let your kids be kids! With the stress of school and over scheduling, the relaxed summer vibe helps kids GROW!