Activities To Develop Pre-Writing & Fine Motor Skills In Toddlers

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ACTIVITIES TO DEVELOP PRE-WRITING & FINE MOTOR SKILLS IN TODDLERS

PLAY IS THE WAY CHILDREN DISCOVER THEMSELVES –
STARTING WITH THEIR FINGERS AND TOES AND GRADUALLY INCLUDING THEIR WHOLE BODY, THEIR EMOTIONS AND THEIR MINDS.
-JOAN ALMON
Kids grow, learn and develop fast when they receive love, attention, encouragement, mental stimulation with healthy diet and good health care.

Every child goes through few basic and important areas of developmental stages, which are –

COGNITIVE, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL, SPEECH AND LANGUAGE, FINE MOTOR AND GROSS MOTOR. 

Among these, development of Fine Motor Skills in early age is foundation for many skills such as,

WRITING, DRAWING, COLORING, BUTTONING, ZIPPERING, TYPING, USING SCISSORS WITH CONTROL, CUTTING, PASTING, OPENING BOXES, USING CUTLERY, CLEANING TEETH, CLIPPING CLOTHES, OPENING AND CLOSING CANISTERS OR BOTTLE CAPS, SELF-CARE TASKS SUCH AS DRESSING, EATING, BRUSHING TEETH, BRUSHING HAIR, etc. 

Fine Motor Skills are the fundamental skills children need to develop before they are able to write

Immature grasp for writing,  difficulty in performing everyday tasks,  disliking precision and perfection in work, etc.

can lead to lack of confidence, low self-esteem, slow in completing any given task, refusal in new fine motor tasks for lifetime, frustration with precise hand-eye coordination, avoidance of tasks in life, poor writing skills or avoidance of writing, etc.

Steps to start with pre-writing activities

1. Check out the hand dominance

2. Encouraging children in activities that involves grasping,

3. Involve kids into fine motor activities to improve strength in their hand and finger muscles,

4. Plan out some (tactile- touch and feel) sensory play  

To develop fine motor skills in toddlers, we can ask our children to help in the kitchen, cutting veggies with child-safe scissors or fingers , stirring water or cake batter, pounding dry fruits, using an egg beater, peeling oranges eggs or shelling peas, opening water bottles, use spray bottles, etc. to build strength in hand-wrist-finger muscles and master hand-eye coordination.

List of activities that can help to improve writing readiness (pre-writing) skills

1⃣P L A Y D O U G H
Playing with Playdough like making balls, rolling them, making objects etc. in early age gives strength in hand and finger muscles.

2⃣L A C I N G and W E A V I N G
you can buy lace cards or make your own (DIY lacing cards) and let your child use pincer grip to practise lacing(as it’s a great fine motor activity for toddlers).
Also, weaving is a great activity for fine motor development.
 

3⃣B E A D S   A N D    P I P E C L E A N E R S
Sliding beads into pipecleaners for fine motor skill development in kids.

After your child is able to easily thread the smallest beads on the rigid cord, replace the rigid cord with a floppy shoe lace or string. This floppy lace will provide your child with a “moving target” as he tries to thread the bead with his dominant hand and steady the cord with his non-dominant hand.

 

4⃣S C I S S O R S
Cutting practice using child friendly scissors

(Check out my blog @ www.Merogandmom.com/scissor_cutting_skills_for_young_kids)

5⃣W R I T  I N G with F I N G E R
Using a tray full of rice or any flour  you can ask your child to write with his/her finger to trace letters or draw any design.

6⃣P E G S
Using clothpins or Pegs to practice fine motor skills. It helps in strengthening the finger muscles as these clips are really difficult to open . You can use these pins for counting activity or word making, phonics practicing activities etc.

7⃣S C R U N C H I N G or T E A R I N G    P A P E R
Making tissue paper/ newspaper balls by scrunching them or just tearing the paper helps in developing fine motor skills in kids.

8⃣W A T E R     D R O P P E R S
Using squizzy droppers for water transferring activity helps a lot in finger muscle strengthening.

9⃣C R A Y O N S | M A R K E R S | P A I N T S
Giving kids friendly and large grip crayons or markers or color pens to kids for practice purpose to boost confidence in them for writing.

🔟T O N G S
Giving kids tongs to transfer balls or other small things from on basket to another helps them to practise fine motor skills which works as a prewriting skills to improve strength in hands.

If these fine motor activities are practiced regularly for one or two weeks, you can see huge improvement of strength in your child’s hands. Which helps in building/boosting confidence in them.
hand-eye coordination and to enhance finger muscle strength in toddlers !

P.S. : There are different grip styles you can observe in children as they develop fine motor skills, Fist grip, Four-finger grip, Pincer grip and tripod grip (which is specially used for writing purpose).

The proper way to hold a pencil is called the tripod grip. The tripod grip is the best way to use hand muscles when writing. The child holds the pencil with their thumb and index finger, while the pencil rests on their middle finger.

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