Fine motor skills are the ability to make movements using the small muscles in your hands, wrists and finger. Children use fine motor skills to accomplish many school-related tasks. If your child struggles when drawing or using a pair of scissors, they might have a problem with their fine motor skills.

Fine motor skills develop after gross motor skills. Gross motor skills are the ability to control actions like kicking and throwing as well as jumping. Basically, it is the utilization of larger muscles groups that require a lot less precision. It takes a lot more work to develop fine motor skills.

You might be asking just how does your child develop fine motor skills. That’s easy: Practice, practice, practice.

River Valley Pediatrics, your pediatric clinic in New Braunfels, offers ways to improve your children’s fine motor skills.

Drawing And Coloring

You can help your child develop fine motor skills by letting them use crayons, markers, chalk and colored pencils. The drawings and other artwork your child creates doesn’t have to be perfect. scribbling is fine for developing fine motor skills.

Play With Blocks

Let your children create works of art out of building blocks. Stacking blocks on top of one another reinforce muscle memory. So does picking up the blocks when they are done. This also ensures nobody steps in a block and hurts themselves.

Play With Scissors

Give your children scissors and have them cut out shapes that you draw on paper. Ask them to follow the pattern as best as they can. Make sure the scissors are child-safe.

Get Artistic With Play-Doh

Play-Doh and other types of molding clay are a good way for your children to develop fine motor skills. They can use it to create shapes and figures.

Let Them Help Around The House

Let your children help you around the house to help develop their fine motor skills. You can have them mix up the dinner salad with tongs, unscrew lids to the dressings, water plants with a spray bottle and any other activity that requires them to use their hands.

Board Games

There are a great number of board games you can play with your kids that will help develop their fine motor skills. Mousetrap and Chutes and Ladders are just two games that require the manipulation of small pieces. You can also find jigsaw puzzles make for young children that will help develop these necessary skills.

Threading Beads

Get some string and beads and have your children make necklaces. Sure, it’s hard work but they will have a lot of fun doing it. An old-school top is also another way you can get those little fingers working.

Painting

Using a paintbrush to paint and even finger painting are both great ways to develop fine motor skills. Just beware, painting with little kids could get rather messy so it is best if you are prepared.

Hole Punching

Get a hole puncher with a rubber grip and some construction paper. Cut the paper into quarters so it is easier to handle. Draw small circles n the paper and encourage your children to make punch holes in the middle of the circles.

Clothespins

Have your kids practice pinching open clothespins. Then you can have fun pinning them to one another to form a long line. You can also use clothespins to pinch cotton balls from one bowl to another.

Stickers

Buy a couple of books of stickers and have your child practice peeling the stickers and sticking them to pieces of paper. To get the kids really interested in this activity, buy stickers of their favorite cartoon characters.

Chopsticks

Buy a set of child-friendly chopsticks and make a meal that can be eaten with chopsticks. You can even have your children use the chopsticks to pick things up around the house.

Gardening

Digging and planting a garden requires fine motor skills as well as gross motor skills. Once the holes have been dug for the seeds, have your children drop the tiny seeds in the holes and gently cover them up with a small shovel. You can even have your children help re-pot indoor plants.

Serving Central Texas for more than a decade and a half, River Valley Pediatrics is lucky to call the beautiful New Braunfels community home. Give us a call today.