Let me preface this by saying three things: one, I am not a parenting expert. I simply love to share what has worked (or not!) for my family and hope others may benefit. Secondly, I do not believe that all screen time is all bad all the time. Thirdly, there are seasons of life and I believe some of those seasons will benefit from more screen time than others. I had been having that type of season, twin toddlers, very pregnant, and doing a major home renovation project. When we were in the thick of drywalling and it came down to my kids potentially eating drywall compound or watching more PJ Masks than I would preferably want them to, let me tell you what I chose….(hint…it didn’t involve a call to the poison control hotline).
I recently traveled to Tulsa Oklahoma and back from our Colorado home in my mighty but little RAV4 with my two and a half year old twins and my very kind parents so that I could attend the annual SeneGence Seminar. The trip was over 1500 miles roundtrip, over 750 each way! We drove it straight through each way, leaving early in the morning on a Thursday and returning that Sunday. It took us about 13 hours each time (including stops). I was pretty nervous before we left as to how my littles would handle it, we never spend a lot of time in the car let alone 13 straight hours. And so, I super prepared for the trip. And, it not only worked, they actually had FUN. Granted, by the time we arrived home Sunday we were ALL (adults included) ready to get the heck out of the car, but nobody was having hysterics. I always loved road trips as a child and want to do them with my family, so I was ELATED that this was such a good first experience for my littles. What I did to prepare really worked incredibly well, and while I do not wish a 13 hour straight through road trip on anyone, I hope these tips and tricks may help you be successful with any road-tripping you have in your future!
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Jumbo Sorting and Counting Bears
Not only are my kids obsessed with the cute little brightly colored bears, I LOVE how easy this activity makes it to teach colors and sorting. The colorful and flexible muffin cups are easy to keep clean, and the colors are easily distinguished from each other (For this age, I hate matching games that are vague!)
I am so excited today to feature Pranita from www.merogandmom.com! Pranita is a wonderful source of inspiration, and a truly beautiful woman and mother, inside and out! Please follow her on her social channels below so you can enjoy her wonderful ideas, tips, and general amazing-ness and then enjoy her post below on fantastic and easy to do activities to develop pre-writing and fine motor skills in toddlers!
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.
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
P 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.
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).
B 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.
S C I S S O R S
Cutting practice using child friendly scissors
(Check out my blog @ www.Merogandmom.com/scissor_
W 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.
P 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.
S 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.
W 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.
C 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.