Monday, May 25, 2009

Fine Motor

Over the past two weeks we have been following our baby’s development of fine motor skills. We have seen the reflexive action of the little hand closing on our finger and the brief holding and exploration of a toy in her mouth. We have been amused at attempts to feed herself by using her whole hand to ‘rake’ in a fistful of food. We have also observed the refinement of the raking movement, allowing her to use her thumb and forefinger in a pincer grasp.

These early milestones in fine motor skills are leading to the skills which are necessary in school and in life. Our task is to work with the interests of our preschooler and provide experiences that build this skill. Sometimes these experiences are independent play with puzzles, legos, or other toys requiring children to use fine motor skills and problem solving. Sometimes these experiences are supervised play with playdoh, paints, glue, or other craft materials. Sometimes these experiences coincide with the real work of daily living.

There are two things happening when preschoolers are involved with the real work of parents. We are giving them opportunities to practice and refine fine motor development and more importantly we are interacting thorough language. When we involve them in sorting nails from screws and bolts, planting seeds in the garden, or cutting a stick of butter into small pieces for baking we are interacting in a way that builds emotional attachment, communication, problem solving, and increases the functional eye-hand coordination.

Bringing Up Baby has an assignment for you this week. Observe your child’s level of fine motor development and create an experience which gives your child practice. Observe her little hand closing on your finger and then search for other safe objects which will expand her sensations and give practice with the skill. Observe your child’s skill at using her thumb and forefinger and then search for objects that she can enjoy picking up and putting into containers. Observe your preschooler’s safety in handling small objects and look for a functional task that you can do together.

Toad House Publishing

Twinkletime Rhymes to Print

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