As a mom, you’re probably used to hearing the term “motor skills”.  In fact, at this point in your child’s life, you’ve probably already started trying to develop fine motor skills.  You’ve read dozens of articles, pinned a million pins and zoned in on motor skill development in the preschool classroom.  But what’s the real scoop on fine motor skills? How can you help your child develop before he or she begins preschool?
First, let’s talk about what motor skills are.  Fine motor skills are the skills that involve the coordination of small muscles in your child’s hands and feet with their eyes.  Developing fine motor skills first will prepare your child for developing gross motor skills later on.  Gross motor skills are movements made with the arms, legs and the entire body.  Crawling, running, and everything in between are gross motor skills.
We’ve got a few ideas for helping your child with their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.  Try some of these simple activities with whatever you have lying around the house:
Fine Motor Skills:

  1. Threading
    • Place a plate of pipe cleaners and beads in front of your child and show him how to thread the beads onto the pipe cleaner.  Let him try to do it on his own with as little guidance from you as possible.  This may take him a few tries and a lot of patience, but it will help him develop his hand-eye coordination.
  2. Transferring
    • Give your child two plates: one that is empty and one that has pom-poms or another soft, small object on it. Then give your child a set of tongs.  Have him transfer pom-poms from one plate to the other using the tongs, keeping his eyes on the job the entire time.
  3. Weaving
    • Have your child help you with this fine motor skill activity.  Cut multicolored construction paper into thick strips and lay them out before your child.  Let him weave the strips together, forming a rectangle. You can staple the ends when the project is finished, and you’ll have handmade placemats for your dinner table!

Remember to keep these activities fun and memorable.  Your kiddo will enjoy the one on one time with you, and his or her preschool teacher will be glad you started early!