Increase Your Child’s Motor Skills with These Simple DIY Projects

Contrary to gross motor developmental skills, such as walking, exceptional motor skills are based on small body motions, like moving your child’s finger and wrist muscles, for example when eating with a fork or buttoning a shirt. Keep in mind that the number of daily activities that rely on your child’s fine motor skills development is limitless.

Of course, fine motor development commences at infancy, but you may want to help them strengthen these skills during their preschool stage to make sure they earn some independence on time and smoothen their transition to school.

Here are a few simple (and fun) DIY projects to increase the efficiency of your toddler’s fine motor skills.

  • Threading

Very soon, your child will need to start writing, and threading activities are a great way to help them prepare. The use of cut straws is a natural threading activity that can strengthen fine motor skills. Try starting with this, before you move to more difficult tasks like bead threading.

Threading activities are great because they help your kids concentrate maximally. This works if you’re in need of some quiet. Even the busiest children will calm down and focus when threading straws.

Cut plastic straws by color and place in small containers. Make the child(ren) concentrate on holding the yarn with one hand and threading the straw through it with the other hand. You might need a bit of hand-holding initially, but they’ll eventually get the hang of it after some time.

  • Peeling Tape

All you’ll need is a roll of washi, ribbons or painter’s tape, and a flat surface. It’s simple: just stick tape (or a KW-tulle ribbon) to a flat surface such as a plastic chair, table or the wall, and let your child work to peel it off. The act of grasping an edge of the tape and pulling it will strengthen their pincer grip, which will benefit them in preparation for writing and tying their shoelaces.

  • Weaving

Weaving serves two primary functions: improve your kid’s fine motor skills and develop their overall coordination, grasping abilities and pincer grip. Cut pieces of colorful paper or tulle ribbon into long strips and show them weaving demos. Give them tasks such as creating a map.

  • Play Dough

Playing with clay, or play dough is vital for children six months old and above as it strengthens hand muscles and enhances creativity. Encourage your wee one to stretch, mold, squeeze, manipulate and roll varieties of shapes (including snakes and worms) with the play dough. Give them a free hand. You’ll be surprised at what they’ll come up with.

  • Finger painting

This activity is perfect for younger toddlers yet to know how to hold a paintbrush. It also strengthens your child’s hand muscles and teaches kids about color relationships. If your baby loves to stick his/her fingers in his/her mouth, try making edible finger paint by mixing up food coloring in yogurt.