Fine motor skills are critical to a preschooler’s development. Like any skill, such as playing the piano or dribbling a basketball, practice is essential to success.
When preschool teachers mention fine motor skills, they are referring to the muscles in the hand that are used to manipulate small objects. Fine motor and hand eye coordination are typically parallel skills; most fine motor tasks require refined hand eye coordination. Hand eye coordination refers to the communication that happens between the hands and the eyes in order to accomplish a task.
We use fine motor skills in our everyday lives. Examples include: tying shoes (looping shoelaces through each other), getting dressed (buttons and zippers), eating dinner (using a fork or knife), and brushing teeth (squeezing toothpaste and brushing). In addition, kids will undoubtedly use fine motor skills at school as they write, color, cut, glue, and paint.
Not only is it important to develop fine motor skills for physical growth, but also to build confidence. The more children practice these skills, the more confident they will become. Mastering the coordination of putting on a winter coat, zipping, and buttoning it will make kids excited to go outside. Delaying practicing fine motor skills may have an adverse effect – a student who hasn’t learned to hold and move a pencil properly may make them frustrated during a writing lesson, or could lead to avoiding the task altogether.
While there are plenty of ways to practice fine motor skills around the house, children can also learn through playing with any of these Learning Resources products: