As a mom of 3, and a teacher. And an early educator, and a baby massage instructor. I often talk about Motor Skills.
These two words are not something complicated – they merely define how we use our muscles. Or rather, when, with what skills. Developing motor skills is important as it helps the overall physical and intellectual growth of the child. But often we don’t even use these words, we just know that our child needs this or that. However, assisting our children with the motor skills development in natural playful way is just what we need!
So, there are two types of motor skills – gross motor skills. And fine motor skills. Gross motor skills are involved in big movements our children (and us!) do – walking, moving, jumping, swimming etc. Fine motor skills are when we do smaller actions – picking something up, coloring, writing etc.
I would like to share few examples of every day activities you can emphasize with your children. When you read what I write below, you will probably go: “oh yes, I do that with my kids! Pfft”
Understand me clearly: I am not trying to discover a new territory here. But I am merely reminding you of what you probably already do is AWESOME! And if you are looking for ideas in motor skill development – well, here are some!
And so, let’s start with Gross motor skills
- Ball games. There are tons! You can find some of these in my post here
- Running. Yes, let them run! Just, of course, in places where they won’t bump into any corners
- Swimming. If you have a chance to introduce swimming to kids – go ahead! And since I believe in early introduction to water and swimming, I will be the one encouraging you to go ahead with it! Water elevates the weight which makes it easier to float, but harder to move in it. So swimming is a great way to make those muscles work.
- Jumping. Oh yes, we all jumped as kids. I remember jumping from the height of our first floor window. Thankfully, it wasn’t high. But now you would never make me, unless in danger, do that! So I suggest safer jumping – from small sturdy chair to another, across puddles, jumping up and down, jumping from one point to another!
- Crawling and climbing. I put these two together as they are so similar! With a difference that one crawls on the floor and over the obstacles. And climbing is usually up up somewhere! I am very glad our windows have big windowsills (and secure windows!) which makes the need for climbing and jumping easier to satisfy: I have a carpet under the windowsills, so when they jump, they don’t get bumped as much!
- Walking. Oh, this is my favorite one – walking is absolutely awesome! I don’t have to tell you that. It is harder when you are a parent with a toddler who just started to walk and constantly wonders off. But hey, that’s some making up for missed exercise!
Shoot me with more examples of gross motor skills – I will update this list and credit you!
And now, Fine Motor Skills!
- Picking up using fingers/hands. The joy and the disaster for a mom of a child who refuses to be fed and stuffs his mouth with food you put in front of him! But you know what? Mini Man picked up the spoon around 1.5 years of age. Miss A – at 1. And I really can’t complain as they are not as messy as you see on some photos my friends post where the food is smudged all over that happy and proud face!
This particular skill is later continued in picking up smaller objects – small balls, grains, beads etc. And the more you practice them – the better their eye-hand coordination is. And a lot of kids show better concentration in general!
- Sewing, knitting, and crocheting. These are all my favorite ones, and now my 8 year old and sewing bags for everyone! I could have started her on needles much much earlier (and it is actually a marvelous skill!) but there were never big enough needles for me to give her. But think of all that creativity a child can develop through sewing! Plus, and a HUGE plus, it promotes relaxation and calms the child down.
- Scribbling, tracing, and writing. I don’t even have to tell you about it. Let them trace and scribble!
- Coloring and painting. I put this one separately, as my own kids started coloring around 10-11 month of age. Yes, I gave them colors. Yes, with supervision. Yes, they tried eating them. Yes, we managed to live through half eaten crayons and pencils. Coloring is amazing! And you for sure will find it that putting a coloring child next to yourself when you are trying to
catch up on a blog postcook/clean, gives you few moments of relaxation, too! And I won’t even begin to tell you how much sanity painting saved me!
And again, I am asking you to share those other examples of fine motor skills activities with me!
After taking a break last year due to the arrival of Baby #3, we are back with one of my favorite series, the 31 Days of ABC! You can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.
I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their amazing ideas with us in the coming days. And this year for the first year we are also adding a giveaway, so be sure to scroll to the end and enter for a chance to win!
So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!
Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!
31 Days of ABC
Teaching the ABCs – October 1
A – October 2
B – October 3
C – October 4
D – October 5
E – October 6
F – October 7
G – October 8
H – October 9
I – October 10
J – October 11
K – October 12
L – October 13
M – October 14
N – October 15
O – October 16
P – October 17
Q – October 18
R – October 19
S – October 20
T – October 21
U – October 22
V – October 23
W – October 24
X – October 25
Y – October 26
Z – October 27
123’s – October 28
Prewriting – October 29
Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30
Alphabet Clip Cards – October 31
Find more great resources in 31 Days of ABCs 2013 and 2014!
Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win this great prize package, open internationally! Giveaway ends Monday, November 7, 2016 at midnight Pacific Time.
3 month subscription to the Kidloland app, which includes 575+ interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories, and educational activities to help children learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes and more!
The Alphabet Experts Mega Bundle from Kindergarten Connections contains 500+ of alphabet printables, including tons of activities for each letter of the alphabet! ($58.50 value)