Developing Fine Motor Skills

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Developing Fine Motor Skills: Extracted from : Buddhi Research Fine motor skills can be defined as small muscle movements: those that occur in the finger, in coordination with the eyes. Teaching fine motor skills is similar to teaching other skills because the instructor must always try to be patient and understanding. Fine motor skills won't develop over-night, but with time and practice. Here are some suggestions for developing fine motor skills, and some activities to use to practice them:
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   Developing Fine Motor Skills: Extracted from : Buddhi Research  Fine motor skills can be defined as small muscle movements: those that occur in thefinger, in coordination with the eyes. Teaching fine motor skills is similar to teachingother skills because the instructor must always try to be patient and understanding. Finemotor skills won't develop over-night, but with time and practice. Here are somesuggestions for developing fine motor skills, and some activities to use to practice them: A. Cutting Use a thick black line to guide cutting the following:1.A fringe from a piece of paper 2.Cut off corners of a piece of paper 3.Cut along curved lines4.Cut lines with a variety of angles5.Cut figures with curves and angles6.Cut clay with blunt scissors B. Placing and Pasting 1.Place a variety of forms (eg. blocks, felt, paper, string, yarn, cereal, cotton) onoutlines2.Match shapes, color, or pictures to a page and paste them within the outlines C. Tracing and Coloring 1.Use a thick black line if needed2.Trace and then color shapes, increasing the size and complexity gradually D. Self-Care Skills (not listed in order of difficulty) 1.Buttoning2.Lacing3.Tying4.Fastening Snaps5.Zipping6.Carrying7.Using a screwdriver 8.Locking and unlocking a door 9.Winding a clock 10.Opening and closing jars11.Vacuuming a rug12.Rolling out dough or other simple cooking activities13.Washing plastic dishes14.Sweeping the floor 15.Dressing16.Bathing  E. Finger Tracing 1.Many times when a child is unable to do a worksheet, it helps to trace the patternwith his finger before he tries it with a pencil.2.Have the child trace a pattern in sand, cornmeal, finger paint, etc. The texturesgive the child kinesthetic feedback. F. Pre-Writing 1.Dot-to-dot drawings of pictures, objects, shapes, numbers, letters, etc.2.Typing exercises3.Tile and mosaic work 4.Folding activities5.Fine coloring6.Have the child do repetitious strokes (with an increasingly smaller writing tool)similar to those found in manuscript or cursive letters. Emphasize accuracy,spacing and flow or rhythm. Sometimes doing it to music helps. G. Writing 1.Have the child write in the air and in front of his eyes (arm outstretched) with hisfinger.2.To increase his tactile awareness, have him trace over letters on textured surfaces.Have him manipulate 3-dimensional letters when blindfolded.3.When a writing tool is introduced, letters which involve similar strokes should betaught first (moving simple to complex). Next, combinations of letters in shortwords, sentences and finally spontaneous writing. (Remember to use words whichare within the child's reading vocabulary). Things to remember: Upright working surfaces promote fine motor skills. Examples of these are: verticalchalkboards; easels for painting; flannel boards; lite bright; magnet boards (or fridge);windows and mirrors; white boards, etc. Kids can also make sticker pictures; do rubber ink-stamping; use reuseable vinyl stickers to make pictures; complete puzzles with thick knobs; use magna-doodle and etch-a-sketch as well. The benefits for these include:having the child's wrist positioned to develop good thumb movements; they help developgood fine motor muscles; the child is using the arm and shoulder muscles.In general, it is more fun to learn while you play. Keep that in mind when teaching finemotor skills. Try to encorporate activities like dress-up to teach zipping and buttons; cardcreations to practice writing or tracing skills; cutting and pasting to make a creation other than just a plain piece of paper, etc. Be creative and have fun! Activities with Fine Motor Manipulatives  Pre-kindergartners benefit from experiences that support the development of fine motor skills in the hands and fingers. Children should have strength and dexterity in their handsand fingers before being asked to manipulate a pencil on paper. Working on dexterity andstrength first can eliminate the development of an inappropriate pencil grasp, which is becoming more commonplace as young children are engaged in writing experiences before their hands are ready. The following activities involve the use of manipulativeswhich will support young children's fine motor development, and will help to build thestrength and dexterity necessary to hold a pencil appropriately. Fine Motor Activities Molding and rolling play dough into balls - using the palms of the handsfacing each other and with fingers curled slightly towards the palm.Rolling play dough into tiny balls (peas) using only the finger tips.Using pegs or toothpicks to make designs in play dough.Cutting play dough with a plastic knife or with a pizza wheel by holding theimplement in a diagonal volar grasp. (see attached diagram)Tearing newspaper into strips and then crumpling them into balls. Use tostuff scarecrow or other art creation.Scrunching up 1 sheet of newspaper in one hand. This is a super strength builder.Using a plant sprayer to spray plants, (indoors, outdoors) to spray snow (mixfood coloring with water so that the snow can be painted), or melt monsters .(Draw monster pictures with markers and the colors will run when sprayed.)Picking up objects using large tweezers such as those found in the Bedbugs game. This can be adapted by picking up Cheerios, small cubes, smallmarshmallows, pennies, etc., in counting games.
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