Gurnee Park District News

Motor skills. What are they and how you can help your preschooler?

Blog Author: Sue McDougle, Preschool Manager | Fine motor skills are the ability to coordinate movements using the small muscles in the fingers, hands and forearms. The building blocks to developing good fine motor skills include hand strength, finger strength, hand eye coordination as well as:
  • Bilateral Integration: The ability to move both sides of your body together in a coordinated way
  • Crossing Mid-line: Ability to move ones hands, feet, and eyes not only together, but across and to the other side of the body
  • Hand Dominance:  preference for using one hand over the other to perform fine motor skills
  • Object Manipulation:  when one or more people physically interact with one or more objects
  • Proprioception: ​being aware of body position and movement of the body 

Learn more about these skills how to best support your child's development at a FREE parent workshop on April 11.

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Fine motor skills are essential for performing everyday tasks such as buttoning, zipping tying, brushing teeth, and opening containers. Academic fine motor skills include, coloring/drawing, tracing, writing and cutting, or the controlled use of tools such a pencil, scissors or crayon. Development of these skills are essential for academic success. Growing Tree Preschool curriculum includes fun activities to help develop and improve children's fine motor skills. Do not hesitate to try some at home. Not only do they help your preschooler, but they're also fun … especially Play-Doh!

Tweezers or tongs to sort pompons by color. Using tweezers strengthens the muscles through resistance, utilizes control of the radial fingers, encourages crossing the mid line to deposit the pompon in the matching container, and hand-eye coordination.

Geo Boards are a wonderful STEM learning tool where children stretch rubber bands to make shapes, patterns, letters and colorful designs while developing bilateral integration, hand and finger strength, object manipulation and body awareness.

Play-Doh encourages bilateral integration and strengthens hands and fingers while children squeeze, smoosh and roll the playdough into desired shapes.

Threading activities are excellent for fine motor development.Try threading pipe cleaners through colanders or making bracelets with pipe cleaners and beads. Through bilateral integration and object manipulation, children improve hand dominance and hand eye coordination. 


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Tuesday, May 21 2019

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