Max is very easily frustrated when he can’t figure how to do something with his hands. Coupled with the fact that it’s hard to understand him through his whining, has made for a difficult situation. I don’t take developmental milestone charts too seriously. Kids are kids, they are learning at different rates, some will be faster, some will take more time. It’s unhealthy to get wrapped up the percentages your kids are supposed to be at or comparing them to other children who seem to know much more. But, with that said, I have noticed Max’s fine motor skills aren’t quite up to speed. When I recognize a “problem”, I will try to find ways to help. If he is frustrated all the time, it’s not fun for anyone involved.
Here are a couple fine motor activities we’ve been working on at home and that he enjoys. Hope this gives some ideas to help develop fine motor skills. Even if there is no reason for concern, these are fun activities to add to your playtime rotation! As always, if you are concerned about your child in any way, little or big, contact your Pediatrician and start the conversation. No worry is ever invalid when it comes to your own babies.
Lacing Animals (or Lacing Letters)
We have the Melissa and Doug farm animals lacing kit. Max took to this activity quickly. I showed him how to lace the first couple holes and he picked it up fast. He still laces all over the place and strings the lace into random holes but it’s a great start for his fingers to practice dexterity. We are working towards getting him to lace holes in a consecutive manner. The holes will be closer together and harder to string and hopefully, this will also help better his attention span.
Fizzy Colours Activity
My kids love this activity! They love seeing the colourful vinegar hit the baking soda. The fizzing noise, the chemical reaction, the colours make for wonderful sensory play.
Things you’ll need
– Sheet pan or pan with sides
– Small bowls or ramekins
– Eye droppers
– White vinegar
– Baking soda (lots of it!)
– Food colouring (I use Americolor, which I have on hand. But any kind would work.)
Pour baking soda into your pan in an even layer. Divide vinegar into small bowls. Add a little food dye to each vinegar bowl and stir to mix well. Encourage your children to use the eyedropper to squeeze up the vinegar solution and then drop it into the baking soda pan. Watch their eyes light up as the magic happens! The action of holding the small dropper, squeezing, and letting go helps with their fine motor skills. When my boys’ attention waned, I gave them tablespoons to drop large amounts of vinegar. The bigger chemical reaction always gets lots of giggles.
I received these Cate and Levi hand puppets just before I wrote this post and they came at the perfect time. The open and close motion with their hands helps with control. It also ends up being a lot of fun! Clearly, we are in dire need of a cardboard box theatre. Next DIY project! Some other activities for developing fine motor skills
Duplo Blocks – these large building blocks are great for little hands.
Playdoh – The moulding action helps with strenghting their little fingers. Sticking in candles into a mound of Playdoh is also a good variation.
Child safe scissors and construction paper – This was the hardest activity for Max. Holding the scissors took some practice, the open and close motion requires more complex finger movement. We save this activity for when he is in the mood and we keep it relatively short.
These are a few of the fun activities we’ve been doing at home and I found it has helped Max with his fine motor skills and to promote dexterity. Even if you aren’t concerned with your child’s fine motor skills, these activities are fun additions to any playtime rotation!