13 Ways And 9 Activities To Develop Motor Skills For Toddlers

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Motor skills are very important for your toddler before getting into the kindergarten. Some activities are required to develop the fine motor skills in your kid. We will help you in finding the best motor activities for your toddler.

Motor skills will help your child to do many things on his own. It makes them to develop into an independent child. Motor skills can’t be taught orally. The best way to achieve the motor skills in your kid is to introduce some activities.

This article discusses the benefits of motor skills in the child. It presents the best activities to introduce and develop fine motor skills in your child.

What are Motor Skills?

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Motor skills allow your kid to establish precise movement of muscles. They are small, precise, and coordinated movements. A perfect muscle movement requires the proper utilization of senses.

Motor skills improve the coordination between the muscles. Fine motor skills aid the growth of intelligence which is most important in all the stages of the human life. The development of fine motor skills are most important for the preschool, kindergarten, and early school age children.

Motor skills are classified into two types. They are: Gross motor skills and fine motor skills

Gross Motor Skills:

Gross motor skills include the movement and coordination between hands, legs and other parts of the body. These skills are the abilities that child acquire as a part of motor learning during the childhood. Gross motor skills are important for the kid to perform daily activities like walking, running, and swimming. Gross motor abilities of the child will have greater impact on the fine motor skills that develop in the later stages of life.

Child with lack of gross motor skills will struggle to deal with the daily tasks such as eating, picking their toys, getting onto the potty stand etc.

Fine Motor Skills:

Fine motor skills with smaller movements occur in the wrists, hands, fingers, feet, and toes. These skills include the movements which involve the synchronization of hands and fingers with the eyes. Motor skills develop through each of the development stage of the child. These skills contribute to the small actions such as picking the object between thumb and finger, writing carefully, and blinking.

Child usually develops gross motor skills before they develop fine motor skills. Gross motor skills offer the ability required to control large muscles like walking, running, or jumping without precision.

Benefits Of Motor Skills:

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Fine motor skills will help in exploring the world around the children and help developing cognitive skills.

Few other benefits of fine motor skills include:

1. Children learn to manipulate the things in the environment:

Motor skills will help the children to learn some crucial tasks like reaching, grasping, and moving the objects. Without fine motor skills child cannot perform simple things like zip a jacket or turn the pages in the book.

Fine motor skills will help the kid to make use of crayons, chalk, pencils or scissors.

2. They help the kid learn and develop hand writing:

Motor skills will help the kids to effectively use their hands to write or draw something. This skill is very important for the kindergarten kids which allow them to write alphabets.

3. Motor skills enhance hand eye coordination:

Motor skills improve hand eye coordination which is most important to achieve the precision in the activities that they do.

4. Motor skills help kids to develop self esteem:

Once kids learn to gain control over the things or the ability to manipulate the objects around them, they are likely to develop self esteem and self confidence. Children may take years to develop fine motor skills. Child with attention disorders may take some more time than the normal kid to develop motor skills.

5. It helps them to build healthy life style:

Gross motor skills will help them to build daily routines like exercise, walking, running etc. thereby they build healthy life style.

6. Motor skills make your kid independent:

Fine motor skills will allow your kid to do the small things like eating, washing their hands their own. It provides them an opportunity to realize how each of their body part works and how to utilize them properly.

Ways To Develop Motor Skills In Child:

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Here are a few ways to improve child’s motor skills:

1. Play Dough:

Allow your kid to play with craft clay. This modeling clay will allow the kids to enhance muscle activities. Kids learn to manipulate the clay by squishing, squeezing, pulling, pushing etc. Clay crafts allow the kids to develop small and large muscles. It encourages their hand –eye coordination.

Along with the motor skills, clay crafts make the kids to achieve attention span.

2. Daily Routines:

Daily routines like eating with spoon, pouring water in glass, dressing, brushing, bathing, washing hands etc will allow the kid to develop fine motor skills.

3. Building Blocks:

These blocks come in various sizes and allow the kids to stack many different arrangements. Blocks play an important role in the kid’s physical, emotional, and social development. Kids tend to develop fine motor skills by extending their limbs to grasp, pick, and move the blocks. Building blocks help to strengthen the muscles of fingers, hands, and arms.

4. Drawing, Coloring, and Painting:

Drawing and painting not only help your child to improve motor skills but also help them to enhance creative thinking. Try different types of painting medium like crayons, chalks, finger paints, brush painting or charcoal. Painting with a bush teaches the kids how to hold the things.

5. Allow Your Child To Use Utensils:

Make your child to use spoons, forks whenever they eat. If they make any mess do no jump to help. Let them figure out the issue their own.

6. Puzzles:

Picking the puzzle pieces and moving them into the position will help them to achieve fine motor skills. Initially start with the easy puzzles and keep on increasing the slowly increase the complexity in order to enhance their problem solving skills. Puzzle activities will help the kids to develop self confidence.

7. Cutting With Scissors:

Any activities with scissors allow the kids to develop and strengthen the motor skills with precise. It will help kids to enhance hand eye coordination.

8. Allow Your Kid To Play With Sand:

Sand play encourages the hand and eye coordination. It enhances the sensory development. Allow tour kid to play with sand and let them scoop out using the spoons. Encourage your kids to use molds to build things.

9. Bath Time Play:

Allow your toddler to fill and pour the water out using the cups. Allow to squeeze the water out of sponges and play with rubber toys. This makes your kid’s bath time fun and a creative activity. Bath time play allows your toddler to achieve control over their muscle movements.

10. Encourage Your Kid To Do Daily Chores:

Daily chores are the best way to introduce discipline and enhance the fine motor skills. Assign some daily chores like keeping their toys and books organized, folding the washed clothes, arranging the meals on the table etc are some of the daily chores that kids can do. Assign age appropriate daily chores to your kids.

11. Gardening And Planting:

Digging, and planting the seeds require hand-eye coordination. It is one of the best pass time activity to promote greenness and motor skills of your kid.

12. Threading And Beading:

Threading and beading involves piercing the thread through the small hole in the middle of the things. This activity enhances hand-eye coordination, muscle control, and visual perception of your child.

13. Working With The Vertical Surfaces:

Working with the vertical surfaces allows the kid to develop both fine and gross motor skills. When kids used to hold any object against the vertical surface, muscles in the wrist and hand are strengthened. Working with the vertical surfaces also involves core muscles. Hence it is beneficial to place crafts, writing, and drawing projects on vertical surfaces like walls.

Best Motor Skills Activities for Toddlers:

1. Box with clothe pins:

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This is one of the best fun motor skill activities for the kids.

● Take an empty box with the colored stickers taped around the edges and color the clothe pins.
● Make your kid to match the colored clothe pin with the color circles on the box by clipping.

This activity allows the kids to develop fine motor skills.

2. Pencil flakes art:

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Allow the kid to draw a simple flower on the piece of paper and ask them to glue the pencil flakes along the petals of the flower.

This activity will enhance your kid’s motor skills with precision.

3. Paper clip:

Paper-ClipPaper clips offer your kids a great opportunity to develop fine motor skills.

● Cut out small square sized pieces from the papers of different colors.
● Ask the kid to stack the same colored papers one over the other and clip them with the matching colored paper clip.
● Children will come to strengthen their motor skills in the process of manipulating the paper clip.

4. Alphabet beads:

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This alphabet beads will help your preschool kid to learn alphabets and develop motor skills.

Ask your kid to join the alphabet beads using a knitting yarn. This activity allows your kid to build the motor skills with precision. Your kid will come to acquire the precision when they lace alphabet beads.

5. Join the dots:

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Put some scattered dots on the paper and ask your preschool kid to join the dots with color pencils. This makes the kids to acquire precise motor skills.

6. Pom pom sorting:

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This simple activity allows your toddler to recognize the colors and enhance fine motor skills.

Take a bowl with different colors of pom pom balls.

Ask your kid to pick the pompom balls with a clothe pin and drop it into the bowl matching the color of the pompom.

7. Straw necklace:

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Cut the different colored straws into pieces. Tie the thread to the plastic needle and knot another end of the thread. Ask your kids to string the straw pieces onto the thread. It is one of the best fine motor skills activities at home.

8. Hoop cereal tower:

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This is one of the easy toddler fine motor skill activities. It is the best activity to enhance the hand eye coordination.

● Place some hoop cereals in the bowl.
● Roll the small balls from the play dough
● Take out a strip of spaghetti pasta and press it against the play dough so that it can stand upright on its own.
● Ask your child to drop the hoop cereals through the holes on to the spaghetti.

9. Dot sticker activity:

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Allow your kid to place the dot stickers on the pattern drawn on the wall. Working with the vertical surfaces allows the kid to enhance both fine and gross motor skills. They strengthen the hand and the wrist.

What Causes Delay In Fine Motor Skills?

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Children fail to hold, manipulate and use the objects when they are at the right age to do these things. Fine motor skills require the proper response at the right time with the hands and fingers. Speaking is also one of the fine motor skill as it involves movement and coordination of lips, tongue, and face muscles. Some children may experience the delay in the fine or gross motor skills or both.

Here are a few reasons for delay in fine motor skills in the kid:

Reason 1. Autism:

It is one of the developmental delay which is associated with the impairments in the communication and interaction. It is also referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children with ASD often exhibit unusual behaviors like talking constantly, unusual interest in the objects, abnormal social skills etc.

Reason 2. Down Syndrome:

It is a genetic condition which is marked by the extra chromosomes in the body. This down syndrome can adversely affect the person’s looks and the behavior.

Reason 3. Shaken Baby Syndrome:

It is a serious brain injury resulting from the shaking of the baby’s head. The impacts of shaken baby syndrome may not appear in the early childhood. This condition may result in the delay of the fine motor skills.

Reason 4. Exposure Top Toxic Substances:

When the toxins in the atmosphere are inhaled they enter the body through skin pores and interrupts the healthy brain functioning. We are daily exposed to wide range of chemicals, and products that poison.

In conclusion, motor skills are important for the development of child. Help your kid to achieve fine motor skills with the help of activities and games.