As kids are growing and exploring, developing their fine motor skills is important to future handwriting and self-care (zipping and buttoning clothing, feeding themselves, etc.). There are many ways to develop those skills at home through cutting and pasting, building towers 10 or more blocks high, putting together a puzzle, or a host of other things. However, there are many things you can place in your Treasure Box to develop these skills as well.
Pipe cleaners (chenille stems) can be used in a variety of ways to help develop fine motor skills and for entertainment. You can cut the pipe cleaners into different lengths and have your child lace seed beads onto them. You could also use this same idea to practice colors and patterns. Have an old parmesan cheese container? Have your kids practice inserting pipe cleaners into the holes on top. Pipe cleaners can also be manipulated into different shapes and designs by twisting them together or wrapping them around a pencil.
Fine Motor Tools
My son enjoys picking up various items using tweezers, clothespins, cooking tongs, spoons, scoops and popsicle sticks. I have a bag of plastic fishing worms in various sizes that I keep in my Treasure Box. (Cotton balls, small Lego pieces, or pieces of cereal would also work well for this activity.) He loves to move the objects from one pile to another, and we challenge each other to see how many we can move in a minute. It’s also a great way to practice counting.
We also keep a supply of tops, small character toys, bugs, and finger puppets in our Treasure Box to add to any of the activities, expanding on the fun of the other toys.
I also keep a few items in my Treasure Box that are not quiet activities and they probably are not good for a restaurant, but they’ve saved me in more than one instance.
We carry a few small balls for throwing, rolling or playing keep away in our Treasure Box. These can be used in large or small spaces and keep the kids entertained playing together. Our collection also includes a bouncy ball for added craziness when we just need to get the sillies out.
Sidewalk chalk is a great addition to the Treasure Box as well as it serves a variety of purposes. We love to play hopscotch or 4-corners and having sidewalk chalk gives us a way to draw the boards where ever we are. We also use the sidewalk chalk for coloring pictures or leaving positive quotes for people.
We also keep a jump rope in our Treasure Box. My kids are younger, so this one doesn’t get used all that often, but we will pull it out now and then to practice jumping over or even attempting to jump rope.
Fine Motor Skills Tips: Change out the size of the items you use for this activity fairly often. When you begin, use larger objects to help build their confidence and develop the beginning skills and as your children grow and gain greater skills, gathering smaller items for them to hone in on the more delicate items.
Large Motor Tips: You do not have to overthink large motor activities. You can play tag, act out animal motions (hop, leap, gallop, etc), play red light green light, or just run. No matter what you have at your disposal, just let your kids be kids and burn off some of that energy!
Coming up next week: Building
Rainbows and Mud
Rainbows and Mud
Parenting is a roller coaster of adventures - some days are filled with rainbows and other days are full of mud. Sometimes you may experience both in the same day. Join me as I share with you the rainbows and mud in my world.