Gross and Fine motor skills have become an important parameter for assessing the development of the child. So it’s important to develop these skills in them which will in turn help them to perform better academically and physically too.
Fine Motor Skills in Children
Fine motor skills involve those activities that help the child to write and use small objects. Some of them are:
Painting: Children should be asked to use alternatively big, broad brushes and slim, fine brushes. The slimmer and smaller ones help to develop control over their hands. Using cotton swabs for painting will develop the pincer grip which is needed for learning to write clearly.
Puzzles: Puzzles help to develop control over the finger movement. The beginners could start with large knob peg puzzles that require full fisted grip and gradually move over to the ones that require thumb and forefinger grip also called as pincer grip.
Play dough: It’s an excellent tool to improve fine motor skills and becomes interesting to the child if rollers and cookie cutters are also added.
Cutting: Cutting helps in developing hand and eye coordination. The kids could be given some old magazines or newspapers to cut. Instead of mental scissors, they ought to be given non metallic ones which would be good enough to cut paper only.
Stringing: Stringing helps to control the hand movements. The kids could be given beads, pasta etc to string. This is one of the best means of developing fine motor skills.
Blocks: Stacking up the blocks is a good way to develop fine motor skills. Initially the kids should be given the larger ones. The smaller ones should be introduced once they have the control and grip other wise they may give up as the blocks would not set in place.
Gross Motor Skills Development
Gross motor skills involve physical movement of the child like running, jumping, hopping etc. These require balance and coordination skills.
Running: New games could be invented to make the child run quickly like fetching the ball before music ends or musical chairs etc.
Climbing: Climbing help to develop gross motor muscles. They more they climb the better grip and balance do they get. Kids could be taken to the park and asked to climb the jumble gyms, monkey bars etc.
Hopping: Hopping helps in developing balancing ability. Kids could be made to hopscotch or any other such games.
Ball play: Throwing, catching, kicking and rolling the ball are means of improving gross motor skills. The kids should be given appropriate size balls to play. Smaller balls would need more control while the larger ones would be difficult for the younger ones to manage. It can be played indoors or outdoors.
Batting: Batting helps in developing hand and eye coordination. They kids could be encouraged to play baseball, tennis, golf, racquetball etc. Initially they should be given big, thicker bats and later on the size should be reduced.