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I hope this is the right place to post but I need some help with fine motor skills

(13 Posts)
shinybaubles Mon 26-Oct-09 15:45:58

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.

AnnieOneForTennis Mon 26-Oct-09 15:51:48

DS's teacher (he's 4.5) told us that the gross motor skills need to be in place before the fine motor skills. For example, DS doesn't hold a pencil very well, and this is because his shoulders are quite weak - not his wrists apparently. So exercises like swimming and tennis should strengthen him up, which will lead to more control with fine motor skills.
However your DS is only three, and she also said boys are about 9 months behind girls in things like this - she's not worried (yet).
Good luck. I don't know of any books though, sorry...

shinybaubles Mon 26-Oct-09 17:00:22

Thanks for that but apparently is gross motor skills are very good. Well his teacher will give him extra help but I wanted to help him also at home.

thecloudhopper Mon 26-Oct-09 20:45:49

Erm I would suggest, lots of threading starting with bigger things like cotton reals and prgress down to tube pasta then tiny past like macoroni,

lots of experence of chunky crayons,chalks, fat paint and paint brushes.

Sorting small objects such as paper clips paper clips, screws, bolts, buttons, ect.

Pegging things to washing line ie helping you hang out the socks.

large tweesers (reptile tweesers off Ebay) and small objects such as rice sequins ectra see how many he can get out of 1 bowl and put in another.

Playdough to strengthen hand muscles.

Playing with bubbles and getting him to pop with finger.

With his coat if he cant do his zip help start him off and make him do the rest.

Hope that helps

MadameCastafiore Mon 26-Oct-09 20:47:53

DS has better fine motor skills than most of his peers and I am ashamed to say it is down to his owning a Nintendo DS from the age of 3 when we bought it for him to use whilst in the car because he used to be a right little horror on journeys to grannies and back!

shinybaubles Tue 27-Oct-09 09:51:44

Thanks cloudhopper some great ideas I will try those.
Not sure I am ready to try that MadameC smile.

MmeGoblindt Tue 27-Oct-09 09:55:46

DD's kindergarten teacher always said that to train fine motor skills you have to start at the gross motor skills and work down.

So start doing finger painting or using big paint brushes and gradually use finer brushes.

Don't give him really fiddly things yet as it will just frustrate him.

Saying that, 3yo is still quite young for worrying about that.

Reallytired Tue 27-Oct-09 10:00:52

He is THREE years old. It is mad to stress about fine motor skills at this age. He needs to be running about playing and enjoying life. Very few three year olds can use sissors or colour in.

My son saw an occupational theraphist at five years eight months because he did not have the skills you mention. The occupational theraphist said that the problem was the national curriculum rather than my son's development. In many countries children do not start school until seven years old.

He needs to strengthen and learn to control larger muscles before worrying about fine motor control. Little boy bodies know this and this is why they cannot sit still. Prehaps he would would like a soft play centre or you could enrol him in gymnastics or take him swimming.

I think the suggestions on this thread are good, but the best thing that will improve his fine motor skills is maturity. This will come in time.

MmeGoblindt Tue 27-Oct-09 10:03:07

That is true, RT.

DD went to kindergarten/school in Germany and they don't start until 6yo and so there is no fuss made about fine motor skills until the DC are about 5yo.

Fine motor skills are important when learning to write, but he is a good bit away from that yet.

shinybaubles Tue 27-Oct-09 10:33:02

The teacher is not worried just pointed out that those skills were a little behind his other skills. I just wanted to know if there was anythign fun we could do to help him as he is getting frustrated with cutting paper etc and especially buttons.

mrz Tue 27-Oct-09 15:39:57

Fine Motor Skills
Things to remember:

Upright working surfaces promote fine motor skills. Examples of these are: vertical chalkboards; easels for painting; flannel boards; lite bright; magnet boards (or fridge); windows and mirrors; white boards, etc. Children can also make sticker pictures; do rubber ink-stamping; use reuseable 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 develop good fine motor muscles; the child is using the arm and shoulder muscles.
Fine Motor Activities
Moulding and rolling play dough into balls - using the palms of the hands facing 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 the implement in a diagonal volar grasp.
Tearing newspaper into strips and then crumpling them into balls. Use to stuff 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 (mix food colouring with water so that the snow can be painted), or melt "monsters". (Draw monster pictures with markers and the colours 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, small marshmallows, pennies, etc., in counting games.
Shaking dice by cupping the hands together, forming an empty air space between the palms.
Using small-sized screwdrivers like those found in an erector set.
Lacing and sewing activities such as stringing beads, Cheerios, macaroni, etc.
Using eye droppers to "pick up" coloured water for colour mixing or to make artistic designs on paper.
Rolling small balls out of tissue paper, then gluing the balls onto construction paper to form pictures or designs.
Turning over cards, coins, checkers, or buttons, without bringing them to the edge of the table.
Making pictures using stickers or self-sticking paper reinforcements.
Playing games with the "puppet fingers" -the thumb, index, and middle fingers. At circle time have each child's puppet fingers tell about what happened over the weekend, or use them in songs and finger plays.

Place a variety of forms (eg. blocks, felt, paper, string, yarn, cereal, cotton) on outlines
Match shapes, colour, or pictures to a page and paste them within the outlines

Self-Care Skills
Fastening Snaps
Using a screwdriver
Locking and unlocking a door
Winding a clock
Opening and closing jars
Rolling out dough or other simple cooking activities
Washing plastic dishes
Sweeping the floor
Scissor Activities
When scissors are held correctly, and when they fit a child's hand well, cutting activities will exercise the very same muscles which are needed to manipulate a pencil in a mature tripod grasp. The correct scissor position is with the thumb and middle finger in the handles of the scissors, the index finger on the outside of the handle to stabilize, with fingers four and five curled into the palm.
Cutting junk mail, particularly the kind of paper used in magazine subscription cards.
Making fringe on the edge of a piece of construction paper.
Cutting play dough or clay with scissors.
Cutting straws or shredded paper.
Use a thick black line to guide cutting the following:
A fringe from a piece of paper
Cut off corners of a piece of paper
Cut along curved lines
Cut lines with a variety of angles
Cut figures with curves and angles

Sensory Activities
The following activities ought to be done frequently to increase postural muscle strength and endurance. These activities also strengthen the child's awareness of his/her hands.
Wheelbarrow walking, crab walking
Clapping games (loud/quiet, on knees together, etc.)
Catching (clapping) bubbles between hands
Pulling off pieces of thera-putty with individual fingers and thumb
Drawing in a tactile medium such as wet sand, salt, rice, or "goop". Make "goop" by adding water to cornstarch until you have a mixture similar in consistency to toothpaste. The "drag" of this mixture provides feedback to the muscle and joint receptors, thus facilitating visual motor control.
Picking out small objects like pegs, beads, coins, etc., from a tray of salt, sand, rice, or putty. Try it with eyes closed too. This helps develop sensory awareness in the hands.

Midline Crossing
Establishment of hand dominance is still developing at this point. The following activities will facilitate midline crossing:
Encourage reaching across the body for materials with each hand. It may be necessary to engage the other hand in an activity to prevent switching hands at midline.
Refrain specifically from discouraging a child from using the left hand for any activity. Allow for the natural development of hand dominance by presenting activities at midline, and allowing the child to choose freely.
Start making the child aware of the left and right sides of his body through spontaneous comments like, "kick the ball with your right leg." Play imitation posture games like "Simon Says" with across the body movements.
When painting at easel, encourage the child to paint a continuous line across the entire paper- also from diagonal to diagonal.

Activities To Develop Handwriting Skills
There are significant prerequisites for printing skills that begin in infancy and continue to emerge through the preschool years. The following activities support and promote fine motor and visual motor development:
Body Stability
The joints of the body need to be stable before the hands can be free to focus on specific skilled fine motor tasks.
Wheelbarrow walking, crab walking, and wall push-ups.
Toys: Orbiter, silly putty, and monkey bars on the playground.

Fine Motor Skills
When a certain amount of body stability has developed, the hands and fingers begin to work on movements of dexterity and isolation as well as different kinds of grasps. Children will develop fine motor skills best when they work on a VERTICAL or near vertical surface as much as possible. In particular, the wrist must be in extension. (Bent back in the direction of the hand)
Attach a large piece of drawing paper to the wall. Have the child use a large marker and try the following exercises to develop visual motor skills:Make an outline of a one at a time. Have the child trace over your line from left to right, or from top to bottom. Trace each figure at least 10 times . Then have the child draw the figure next to your model several times.
Play connect the dots. Again make sure the child's strokes connect dots fromleft to right, and from top to bottom.
Trace around stencils - the non-dominant hand should hold the stencil flat and stable against the paper, while the dominant hand pushes the pencil firmly against the edge of the stencil. The stencil must be held firmly.
Attach a large piece of felt to the wall, or use a felt board. The child can use felt shapes to make pictures. Magnetic boards can be used the same way.
Have the child work on a chalkboard, using chalk instead of a marker. Do the same kinds of tracing and modeling activities as suggested above.
Paint at an easel. Some of the modeling activities as suggested above can be done at the easel.
Magna Doodle- turn it upside down so that the erasing lever is on the . Experiment making vertical, horizontal, and parallel lines.

Ocular Motor Control
This refers to the ability of the eyes to work together to follow and hold an object in the line of vision as needed.
Use a flashlight against the ceiling. Have the child lie on his/her back or tummy and visually follow the moving light from left to right, to bottom, and diagonally.
Find hidden pictures in books. (There are special books for this.)
Maze activities.

Eye-hand Coordination
This involves accuracy in placement, direction, and spatial awareness.
Throw bean bags/kooshi balls into a hula hoop placed flat on the floor. Gradually increase the distance.
Play throw and catch with a ball . Start with a large ball and work toward a smaller ball. (Kooshi balls are easier to catch than a tennis ball.)
Practice hitting bowling pins with a ball. (You can purchase these games or make your own with pop bottles and a small ball.)
Play "Hit the Balloon" with a medium-sized balloon.

Guimuahahahahahaaaaaaa Tue 27-Oct-09 16:23:33

Hello, very sorry to hijack, just wanted to try to attract the attention of reallytired! Come visit us over here!!!

Apologies for invading thread. As you were grin

shinybaubles Tue 27-Oct-09 16:34:37

Thankyou so much for that list a lot of those are things he likes doing so we will work our way through in a fun way. It was very helpful.

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