When educators speak about fine motor skills, they are referring to a child’s ability to use the pincer grip (thumb and pointer working together) to manipulate objects.
A child needs these skills when they first learn to use a pencil to form letters and words, aka when they learn to write!
Children – and grown-ups – use fine motor skills when engaged in normal, everyday tasks. But there are activities you can set-up that isolate fine motor skills too!
Here’s a great example: Thumb Tacks + Yarn
Prepare just a few items before letting your child get to work:
- Cork board or foam board
- Thumb tacks of any shape or size
- Small section of spare yarn, 6-12 inches long
- Alternative: Ribbon
Here’s how to invite your child to work with this fine motor skill builder:
- For younger children, push the tacks in the cork board, randomly or in geometric figures. Older children can do this for themselves.
- Take one piece of yarn at a time. Hold one end and begin to weave the rest around the tacks in any shape you like. Simply tuck the unfinished ends under the taught yarn, or leave free.
- Continue to weave the other yarn sections, creating interesting shapes and patterns. It’s especially visually appealing if you use complimentary yarn colors.
- When finished, either hang as wall art or unwind the yarn and store it to do the activity again another day.
That’s it! By using a few materials you likely already have at home, you can create a simple and effective fine motor building activity for your child.
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