Fine motor ability is one of the many important skills we continually practice in Pre-K. Fine motor skills involve working the small muscles of our bodies to complete tasks such as writing, cutting, grasping objects, fastening clothing, and much more. Strengthening these skills helps set a foundation for the work children will need to complete later on in their educational careers. Children will continue working on their fine motor skills for the majority of their childhoods, however even adults (musicians, jewelry makers, physicians, machinists, etc.) continue to hone these skills to improve their dexterity and control required for their jobs.
Dr. L. Fleming Fallon Jr. explains, “The central nervous system is still in the process of maturing sufficiently for complex messages from the brain to get to a child’s fingers. In addition, small muscles tire more easily than large ones, and the short, stubby fingers of preschoolers make delicate or complicated tasks more difficult. Finally, gross motor skills call for energy, which is boundless in preschoolers, while fine motor skills require patience, which is in shorter supply. Thus, there is considerable variation in fine motor development among children of this age group.”
If you would like to help your child strengthen their fine motor skills at home, we suggest doing simple activities that children already enjoy doing. This can be anything from helping to mix the batter while baking, playing with/squeezing play dough or clay, beading necklaces or bracelets, cutting with scissors, or playing with puzzles. Even playing on the monkey bars helps to tone and shape the same muscles they will use to write their names. All these activities will give your child the opportunity to work out those hand and arm muscles which in turn helps to strengthen their motor control, flexibility, and dexterity.