Fine-motor skills: The key to your child’s independance

One of the major keys to your child’s independence is their mastery of fine motor skills- the movements children make with the small muscles in their hands.

Many of the daily activities that children engage in require the use of fine-motor skills, such as getting dressed, eating and manipulating toys.

Your child will ultimately be able to do more for themselves when provided with opportunities to practice and develop these skills.

Increasing muscle strength and coordination will also prepare your child for much needed advanced skills in the future such as using a pencil or holding a computer mouse.

Supporting fine-motor skill development can occur during daily routines such as:

  • Setting the table
  • Holding cutlery to eat-knives, spoons, forks, chopsticks
  • Pouring juice into a cup
  • Wiping the table with a sponge
  • Cooking/baking (stirring, shaking, cutting, mixing)
  • Getting dressed

You can also help your child practice their fine-motor skills through play with activities such as:

  • Cutting with child-safe scissors
  • Finger painting
  • Using a paint brush
  • Gluing things onto paper
  • Building a tower out of blocks
  • Playing with playdough

I love activities that build my little ones fine-motor skills because these skills build the foundation for school readiness and growing independence (which in-turn builds confidence!)

I also feel like there is something super satisfying about making simple activities for my children, and then getting to watch them have fun and develop new skills with something I made!

Here are 2 simple DIY fine-motor skills activities you can make at home

I used coloured tape, so these activities can also be used for colour-matching (mommy win!)

These super simple DIY activities are suitable for children 16 months to 4 years old (you know your child best, so if you think they can do it at a younger age, or would enjoy it at an older age, go ahead and make it!)

Fine-motor activity #1: Milk Jug & Popsicle sticks

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • Milk Carton
  • Coloured Popsicle Sticks
  • Coloured Tape
  • Exacto knive

Step 1: Place strips of coloured tape all over the milk jug

Step 2: Use exacto knife to cut slits in the middle of the tape

Tips:

  1. It is best to cut one side of the milk jug only. I found that cutting slits on every side made the milk jug too unstable.
  2. Make the height of your slit a little bit smaller than the popsicle stick you are using. This way you child has to hold the popsicle stick flat or it will not fit, adding a little extra challenge!


FINE-MOTOR ACTIVITY #2: Cardboard box & blocks

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • Cardboard box
  • Coloured tape
  • Coloured blocks (I used small wooden ones)
  • Exacto knife

Step 1: Place 3-4 strips of coloured tape on the box to make a rectangle/square.

Step 2: Use an exacto knive to cut slits in the middle of the rectangle/square. First cut a “+”, then cut an “x”. This way you will end up with four slits.

Step 3: Use your finger to bend the cardboard in the middle of your slits to make it easier for your littles to push the blocks through.

Step 4: Write the names of the colours on the box for letter recognition!

Drop me a comment below and let me know if you’ve tried any of these DIY activities or share your favourite fine-motor skills activity!

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