Fine motor activities help develop your child’s pincer grip and are an indirect preparation for writing skills so it’s great to focus on these type of activities as much as possible.
Try to do these activities at a table when teaching the kiddies how to do the activities and then incorporate fine motor activities away from the table in play activities during the day.
Have 3 / 4 activities ready and out on the table. Encourage the child to choose an activity each time. When the child chooses an activity, move away the other activities so that child is just focusing on doing one activity at a time.
How to teach:
Use imitation to teach your kiddies. Set up the activity and then you show the child what they need to do. Use specific language ‘(child’s name) do this’ and then complete the action that the child has to do. For example if you are working on threading pasta through a shoe lace. Say ‘do this’ and then pick up the lace and pasta and put the lace through the penne pasta. Then give the item to the child and tell them it’s their turn.
How to help:
In order to help the kiddies to become independent we always start by helping them to complete the task using their own hands. This is where we use hand over child’s hand to help them manipulate the items to complete the task. As the children practice and progress they will need less help and you will be able to fade back your help to were you may just need to point to direct the child to each item so that they can complete the task.
Make these activities fun for the kiddies. Play games that incorporate the activities example who can build the tallest tower, how many items can you tweeze from the bowl in 30 seconds, let’s feed the bears by using our tweezers to give each of them a treat.
It is so important to praise and reinforce your child when they are doing activities correctly. Lots of praise and a high 5, cuddle, tickle whatever your child likes. For kiddies who do not enjoy these particular activities or find it hard to stay on track with an activity you may need to give your child a break with their favourite toy for 30 seconds after he/she completes each part of the activity correctly.
If your child does not particularly enjoy the activity or is not motivated to engage in the activity use things that your child is interested in. For example if you are trying to get your child to thread pasta through a shoe lace but your child has no interest. If your child likes eating Cheerios then adapt you activity to get the child to thread Cheerios down uncooked spaghetti sticks that are stuck into playdough as he/she nibbles on some of the Cheerios. Another example may be if you are finding it hard to get your child to engage in a tweezers activity. Find what your child loves, maybe it’s the minions and then adapt your activity for the child to save the minions out of the box/water/rice/sand using their tweezers.