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fine motor skills?

(11 Posts)
shinybaubles Mon 26-Oct-09 15:46:43

Ds is 3 and has had an assesment at school, and his teacher said his fine motor skills need some work/practice - I think he means things like scissors and colouring in, if it makes any difference ds still has no preferred hand and swaps between right and left. He also has difficulty with buttons on clothes are these all to do with fine motor skills? Can anyone suggest a book that I can read so I can understand some more or explain it to me on here. Also is there anything I can do to help him at home - exercises? Any advice appreciated.

BrigitDeathEaters Mon 26-Oct-09 15:56:19

You are right-fine motor skills are to do with cutting out, colouring and buttons.

We have these things at school called 5 minute boxes which are very useful for helping to develop fine motor skills. You can buy them (at an extortionate price!)but it's just as easy to make a collection of bits your self.

They are collections of small toys to help with fine motor control. Things that need to be twisted, little knobs to turn, bricks to build with, wind up toys, finger puppets, russian dolls, shapes to draw round. etc. anything that needs to be manipulated in some way by the fingers.

Having said all this- 3 would seem to be quite early to be worrying about fine motor skills.

shinybaubles Mon 26-Oct-09 17:07:59

Yes that's true that it's early, his teacher has said he will devote some one on one time to helping him practice. They had an assesment and it turns out he is bizarrely quite good at doing very basic maths in his head without counting on his fingers and this was the only area that could use some help. He has been a little behind since he started school in terms of language but now that has caught up.
Would this also be why he is not so good with a knife and fork?
Don't worry I am not hot housing him grin they start school a bit earlier here.

BrigitDeathEaters Mon 26-Oct-09 17:14:21

I think you would be hard pushed to find many 3 year olds who can use a knife and fork too...

Where are you shiny? I thought us brits started kids early enough as it is!

shinybaubles Mon 26-Oct-09 17:20:26

Well it's more of a shovelling around the plate than actual use smile.
I'm in Belgium and they can start toddler school at 2 1/2, if they are potty trained - it's not compulsory. And until the age of 6 it's all just learning via play - they don't sit behind desks, and they have beds so they can go and sleep or nap. They can go half days or whole days all very flexible. They don't start learning to read and write until 6 years old. So it's really not formal education.

BrigitDeathEaters Mon 26-Oct-09 17:28:06

Sounds wonderful. envy

It would seem sensible actually to develop the fine motor skills through play rather than giving them homework where children are forced to draw letters and numbers age three (as one poster was talking about last week.)

Then when they are ready for writing they haven't been put off the whole idea before thei 4th birthday having been forced into it before they were ready. angry

Somebody stop me! I am on my orange box again!

shinybaubles Mon 26-Oct-09 17:47:11

To be honest it is brilliant grin, and more importantly he loves it. No they don't get any homework until 6, and it doesn't seem to have done the Belgians any harm I think some of the scandinvian countries do it similarly. It's quite funny in that he can count and do some maths in his head but has not learnt written numbers - but as his teacher says there is a whole lifetime to learn reading and writing and very pointedly told me he is a child and should be playing.
I was initially a bit sceptical about not learning to read and write before 6 but am begining to really appreciate the way things are done here and he is getting a chance to be a realy child.

Scottie22 Mon 26-Oct-09 19:55:19

Does your ds have hypermobility? This affects both of my children and because they have so much movement in their joints/fingers, doing up zips, buttons and holding a pen is hard for them. We play with clothes pegs to strengthen pincer grip and we do lots of playing with things in little boxes and bags to help with dexterity. Both my children have been slow to show a hand preference too - they will draw with either hand tbh!

There is a good website I use to get ideas for games/exercises;

shinybaubles Tue 27-Oct-09 09:52:47

Thanks for link - don't know about hypermobility will have a look on google, but thanks for taking the time to reply.

exexpat Tue 27-Oct-09 09:57:57

Some of the Montessori activities are very good for developing fine motor skills in preschoolers - eg picking up small objects with tweezers, drawing letters with fingers on sandpaper. When my DD was at a Montessori nursery for a while I found myself wishing that DS had also gone to one, as he does have fine motor skill problems and never really got any help with them.

I think there are lots of books (and websites?) on Montessori around which will give you ideas.

shinybaubles Tue 27-Oct-09 10:34:38

He is going to a slightly different school a Jenaplan one so they don't teach conventionally. But I will have a look for Montessori websites and see if I can borrow some ideas. Thanks for the tip.

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