With summer in full swing, your children will be eager to try some new activities. Help your preschooler exercise their fine and gross motor skills with these fun ways.
Activities to Develop Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills are defined as the coordination of small muscles, in movements that incorporate the hands and eyes to work together. Here are some suggestions to help your child develop their fine motor skills.
- Use textures: Draw numbers with a marker and have your preschooler decorate them
with pipe cleaners, beans, pasta, or pompom balls. This will help them feel the different
textures, while building up their letter and number recognition.
- Create a calendar for summer: Help your preschooler learn about the weather and
activities he or she will be doing each day. Encourage your son or daughter to attach the
proper weather and activities pins to the appropriate day of the week shown on your
- Make pasta jewelry: For older preschoolers, take pieces of elbow, pin wheel, and penne
pasta and string onto yarn or shoe laces. This activity is great for helping 4-year- olds and
older focus on connecting two different items. It also allows your children to be creative.
Activities to Develop Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills involve controlling the arms, legs, head, and torso. Children can develop their gross motor skills by running, jumping, hopping, throwing, catching, climbing, pushing, pulling, and pedaling. Keep your child active to ensure the proper development of the muscles in his or hers limbs. Here are some suggestions to help your children develop their gross motor skills while having fun.
- Playing catch with different size balls
- Riding a tricycle or bicycle with training wheels
- Playing with blocks
- Pulling a wagon
- Crawling through a tunnel
- Dumping and filling buckets
Why it is Important to Develop Motor Skills
Helping your children develop their gross motor skills at a young age gives them control over their bodies. Fine motor skills are important for children to strengthen their finger muscles and to sync the motions of their hands to work with their eyes. As adults, we do things requiring our fine motor skills without even thinking about it. Growing fine and gross motor skills as a preschooler is key for a child’s physical development.
Leslie Marley is the Director of Education and Curriculum at U-GRO Learning Centres, a premier provider of early childhood and preschool education in Central Pennsylvania. Leslie has worked in the field of early childhood education for more than 20 years, 14 of them with U-GRO Learning Centres.