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Improve Your Child's Fine Motor Skills

What are Fine Motor Skills?

Fine motor skills refer to the ability to make movements using small muscle groups that are found in our wrists and in our hands.

Fine motor skills are critical to completing activities that we do in our daily life, such as getting dressed.

Zipping up our jackets, unbuttoning our dresses, unlocking a door with a key, writing anything with a pen, sending an email, or texting a message, using a knife to cut fruits and then a fork to bring it to our mouth— all are examples of using our fine motor skills.
An interesting fact about fine motor skills is that they are often built on gross motor skills.

Why do Some Children have Poor Motor Skills?

We can divide the causes into two major groups:

Primary or basic cause:

Scientists are still not sure about the primary causes of poor development of motor skills. But most of the suspicion goes on the premature birth and the genetic/inherited disorders.

Secondary or direct cause:

It’s all about the connection and agreement between the brain and neuromuscular activity. Sometimes the child cannot obtain instruction from their brain properly. Other situations include failure to understand the task clearly or set the muscles to work effectively. From such perspectives, it’s a clear developmental disorder.

How to Develop Fine Motor Skills

There are basically two ways. One is physical activity, and the other is medication.
For children with mild or minor motor problems, some routine physical training could be fairly beneficial. For serious motor problems, both physical exercise and medication could be needed. Here, we’ll discuss only the physical exertion part.

And there is another prerequisite that must be taken into account. Experts suggest parents who find their little ones struggling with fine motor skills to take a step back and look at their kids' gross motor skills. Are they having issues sitting in a chair, sitting upright, or coordinating their movements? Whatever it may be, difficulty within gross motor skills can absolutely show up in fine motor skills.

Don’t Decide it Yourself

That’s another vital advice from the experts that must be noted carefully.
If your little one is struggling with fine motor skills, please don’t rely on the articles on the internet. There are professionals who could identify what specific skills your little one is actually struggling with and decide what could be the next best step for them.
Within the umbrella of fine motor skills, there are so many other skills that have to come together in order for your child to do something special that you are not likely to find out yourself from the net.

Physical Exercise (or Therapy)

The basic and general rule about developing fine motor skills is that it should absolutely be fun.
Whatever process the child with fine motor problems goes through, if it’s not fun to them, it is not likely to give good results. They should just be playing and having fun while developing motor skills.

Drawing, Coloring, and Painting:
Drawing creates immediate visual feedback. The more concentration they employ on the picture to make it more complete, the more the fine motor skill grows. This helps them get the best ways to produce the desired results. In turn, the everyday tasks of using a knife to cut food or a fork to bring the food to mouth become equally fun and easy. You can buy now.

This is one of the most frequent process therapists work on. Though applicable for both fine and gross motor skills, this is almost a never-failing method.

A basic balance beam is a great way to improve balance with a kid. Place a beam of about 3 to 4 inches width on the ground and ask your child to walk across the balance beam. If you are out in the community, you could use a curb or even cracks in a sidewalk to improve balance. That should be the easiest task.

Another good practice is to challenge them— give them some tasks that they find challenging. Let’s get back to the practice we were talking about. You can increase the challenge of balancing by having them walk across the balance beam and pick up objects from the ground or step over things.

Play dough:
This game engages a child in shaping and reshaping a dough and thereby subconsciously develops the skills of using their fingers just as they want them to do.

Whatever ways they do it— pushing, pulling, squashing, squeezing, rolling, chopping, or cutting— they are building fine motor skills in different ways. Gradually, they become more skillful in buttoning their shirts or turning their pencils to write names.

Noticeably, children start with making big and rough shapes and gradually move on to fine shapes.

While they’re trying to solve the puzzles, they are making their eyes and hands work together and creating successful connections between the brain and neuromuscular activities.

Using kitchen tongs and other tools to accomplish the desired results:
It might involve the above strategy of challenging. Offer them a prize (sometimes you don’t have to spend a penny; just offer one thousand points) for picking up a needle or a button from the ground using the fork and putting them in another small bowl.

Cutting with scissors and origami:
The opening and closing motion while using scissors to cut anything helps children develop the small muscles in their hands. There are a number of toys and figures that could be made by origami or scissor-cutting.

Building Blocks:
It is another excellent way to develop fine motor skills. This engages the kids in employing their small muscles of hands to build cars, houses, trees and thereby ensure that they can further be able to tidy their room and grow out of slipping things out of their hands.

Threading and lacing:
It is considered an exclusively girls’ game, but all the children can equally benefit from this practice if you can make it a challenge. There cannot be any finer activity than this. The brain, neuron, and fine motor parts of the body— all three are equally engaged in this practice and greatly develop the fine motor skills.

Final words

Whatever the reason behind the fine motor problems, there are a wide variety of ways to make the children overcome them and get them back to a normal developmental process.
Just try these methods out, and see your kids bloom!

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