‘Motor skill’ is a process involving the coordination of muscles that work together when motions are carried out. There are 2 different kinds of motor skills in a child’s development – fine motor skills and gross motor skills.
Fine motor skills are small movements that involve a refined use of the small muscles that control the hand, fingers and thumb – such as picking up small objects and holding a pencil. Gross motor skills are larger movements such as running, jumping, and climbing. For your child to really do things themselves, they will need to use both fine and gross skills together. In this article though, I will be focusing more on sharing how to improve their fine motor skills.
For preschoolers, the use of fine motor skills can be seen in writing, drawing, colouring, cutting, buttoning and zipping up their clothes. Developing this skill is so important as it allows them to be able to complete such tasks in their daily lives.
One of the many observations that I made when I was teaching my phonics class (which included some writing as well) was that a few of my K1 students had very poor handwriting. In addition to that, the fingers and wrists of my students (who had poor handwriting skills) often got tired after only a short while of doing their class worksheets. The reason for that is because they did not know how to hold their writing tools properly and they did not do enough tasks/activities in their daily lives that would help them in building up their fine motor skills. In order to help them further develop those skills, I told their parents to teach them how to hold a pencil correctly (with the aid of a pencil grip) and practice certain handwriting exercises with them at home. After working together with my students and their parents for some time, I noticed that they were writing a lot neater and in better control of their hand, wrist and finger movements. Success!
Keep practicing and building up your child’s motor skills today! 🙂