10 activities to improve your child’s fine motor skills

10 activities to improve your child’s fine motor skills

10 activities to improve your child’s fine motor skills

Motor skills form a vital aspect of life. They are constantly utilised throughout the course of each and every day. Whether we’re picking up our breakfast in the morning, grasping a pencil at our desk, or buttoning up a shirt, these activities all require what we call “fine motor skills”. As adults, often we don’t think twice about performing these simple tasks, because they’ve been ingrained in us from a young age, and just form part of our daily lives.

It’s a different case for children though, as they need to learn and develop these skills over time, slowly becoming more confident with the repetition of each new activity. Children will develop fine motor skills gradually, at different ages and stages. For example, babies typically start to grasp objects with their hands between 5 and 6 months of age and will start playing with hand-held toys between 6 and 12 months old.

Our children will develop their fine motor skills naturally over time.

Around 18 months old, most toddlers will attempt more complex skills such as using a pencil or drinking from their bottle without assistance. By 24 months old, your toddler might even show a preference for using their left or right hand. Impressive, right?

Beyond their second birthday, toddlers’ fine motor skills start to become more refined. You will probably notice they may show an interest in drawing and attempting to handwrite!

While these skills will begin to develop naturally, there are lots of fun activities you can do with your child at home to support the development of their fine motor skills.

10 fun activities to improve your child’s motor skills:

  1. Play dough: Moulding, shaping, crafting. This also promotes sensory development
  2. Drawing, colouring, painting: Time-honoured favourites! These activities allow children to gain greater control with their hands, while using their imagination to create a work of art which can take pride of place on your fridge!
  3. Cutting with scissors: A great way to strengthen fine motor skills as well as improve hand-eye coordination
  4. Bath time and water play: Never gets old! Provide cups for your child to scoop and pour out water. It’s loads of fun for them and not too messy for you!
  5. Sand Play: Scooping and digging with buckets and spoons; encourages sensory development as well
  6. Building with Lego and blocks: Stacking, connecting, and creating things with Lego and blocks. Encourages fine pushing and pulling movements and offers endless imagination!
  7. Puzzles: Provides mental stimulation, teaches patience, and encourages usage of both hands
  8. Using plastic cutlery: Allowing children to begin picking up their own food, the start of developing independence
  9. Threading or lacing: Start teaching your child how to tie their shoes or creating knots in general. Fostering more independence and will eventually become a great time saver when everyone is getting ready in the mornings!
  10. Brushing their own teeth: Now this one may not be terribly effective at first! Once you’ve done the “serious” brushing, hand over the toothbrush to your little person encouraging them to finish off by moving the brush around all the surfaces of their teeth. This will help their fine motor development as well as establishing the crucial life skill of looking after their precious teeth!

Pretty simple, right? These everyday activities can all be done at home, and don’t require any expensive equipment. Give them a try with your child and see how eager they are to have a go! Children are quick learners. Before you know it, they will be sipping from their water bottle all by themselves.

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

For a little more information, you can directly reach out to us HERE

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

young child doing craft at table

10 ways Occupational Therapy can support your child’s learning and development

Have you thought your child may benefit from occupational therapy, however you’re not sure whether this is for you? We hear this frequently in our day to day with parents, and it’s often a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know”, until you have that ahhh-haaa! moment. And this is absolutely okay. As parents we experience so many firsts with our children that we may not realise the smallest change to their weekly routine may benefit their learning experience exponentially.

There are, however, a large variety of ways that occupational therapy can benefit your child in many aspects of their development and navigating day-to-day life.

Adelaide Paediatrics provides a wide range of activities across the scope of occupational therapy, tailored to each child’s specific goals and needs.

Various movement activities can support and assist your child’s learning

Your child’s independence

Occupational therapy works to help children become more independent and ultimately self-sufficient. Occupational therapy offers great benefits for children who might be struggling with everyday fine and gross motor tasks like using a toothbrush, holding a pencil, catching a ball, organising a backpack.

It can also help children who struggle with self-regulation and sensory processing issues.

We use a holistic approach to work together with your children and your family

10 ways to support your child’s learning

  1. Handwriting
    • Difficulty with forming letters and numbers, and copying them
    • Grasping a pencil and putting it to paper.

  2. Sensory Integration
    • How your child processes, interprets and responds to what they hear, see, smell, taste, and touch.

  3. Fine Motor Skills
    • Writing
    • Holding small objects
    • Buttoning clothes.

  4. Gross Motor Skills
    • Running
    • Crawling
    • Swimming.

  5. Self Help Skills
    • Getting dressed
    • Combing hair
    • Going to the bathroom.

  6. Feeding mealtime management
    • Picky eaters
    • Limited diet
    • Texture aversions.

  7. Disability conditions, including:
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Down Syndrome.

  8. Behavioural issues and positive behaviour support
    • Emotional regulation
    • Persistence
    • Concentration
    • Consistency.

  9. Social Skills
    • Interacting with peers
    • Sharing
    • Taking turns.

  10. Self-regulation
    • Form and function
    • Emotional regulation
    • Productivity.

It’s important to us here at Adelaide Paediatrics to use a holistic approach when it comes to your child’s occupational therapy. We know that every child is different and has a unique set of needs. Taking into account their physical, emotional, sensory, social and cognitive abilities is important when assessing how we work together.

We love to see your child grow and develop which ultimately helps them at school, at home and everywhere in between.

For a little more information or help with your child’s learning and development, we’d love you to reach out to us here at Adelaide Paediatrics.

We’re based across 9 locations throughout South Australia:

  • Mile End: 08 7123 6147
  • Kensington Park: 08 7123 6176
  • Wayville: 08 7123 6177
  • Mount Barker: 08 7123 6175
  • Ashford: 08 7123 6171
  • North Adelaide: 08 7123 6173
  • Bedford Park: 08 7123 6149
  • Elizabeth Vale: 08 7123 6148
  • Morphett Vale: 08 7123 6163

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

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