Fine motor skills are skills that involve the fingers and hands. Because we use our hands for most activities, well-developed fine motor skills are very important. Kids with good fine motor skills will have an easier time being independent in self-care activities, such as getting dressed and eating. They are more likely to be successful in educational activities such as puzzles and writing. Additionally, better fine motor skills lead to more play opportunities as fine motor skills are required for building and playing catch.
Whether you feel your child needs some extra assistance to build up his fine motor skills or you just want to give your child some extra fine motor practice, you may want to sign them up for activities and classes that will work on these skills. Classes provide fun opportunities for your child to improve his skills in a way that he does not feel like he is doing work.
Here are the top class types to help your kiddo refine their fine motor skills.
Arts and crafts always require fine motor skills, whether your child is painting, drawing, cutting or sculpting. These activities work on a variety of fine motor skills, including hand strengthening, finger dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
When your child is engaged in an art project he is practicing gripping different tools and manipulating objects, all while having so much fun he doesn’t even notice the hard work he’s putting in!
Music classes are another great way to work on these skills. Instruments are all controlled by hands and many instruments require very advanced fine motor skills. Music classes involving shakers, drums and bells are wonderful opportunities for infants and young toddlers to practice grasping, banging and moving in a coordinated manner to a rhythm.
Learning to play instruments such as the piano and guitar provide older children with opportunities to strengthen the intrinsic muscles of their hand and practice finger isolation or using each of their fingers separately.
While gym classes that include activities such as crawling, climbing and throwing may not seem related to fine motor skills, all of those activities are beneficial for their development. Crawling and climbing are important for strengthening all upper body muscles, which each play a part in fine motor activities. Throwing requires advanced motor planning and hand-eye coordination which are also essential for fine motor activities.
Gym classes provide a good opportunity to work on fine motor skills for children who do not enjoy tabletop activities like arts and crafts, which is important because these children are often the ones who benefit the most from fine motor skill development.