How art projects can fine tune motor skills while exercising creativity

While gross motor skills enhance abilities related to the large muscles in the body, including those of the legs, arms and torso; fine motor skills are movements and motions controlled by smaller muscles in a child’s hands. With targeted arts projects, professionals at Silver Spring daycare centers not only finetune those skills, but they also allow young kids to participate in projects that unlock creativity and imagination.

Early Beginnings

Children start exercising both gross and fine motor skills at a tender age. In fact, their fine motor skills come into play immediately after birth, as kids explore their bodies and investigate the items and environment around them. Fine motor skills help children hold onto objects, and pinch, and scratch themselves even before they exercise their gross motor muscles to stand-up, walk or push things on their own.

When enrolled in daycare in Bethesda MD, childcare specialists leverage these early beginnings, and build upon them. It’s important, though, to use creative and engaging approaches to get children to exercise their fine motor skills. If teachers and care givers don’t provide children with such opportunities, they (the child) may hesitate or falter at other academic tasks, such as writing or performing other tasks requiring those fine motor abilities.

Projects That Help Fine Tune Motor Skills

Intense exercises, such as jumping, running, skipping ropes, and playing Frisbee or hop-scotch, help develop gross muscular skills in young children. The way to fine tune finer motor skills, however, is more subtle. Staff at a Bethesda child care center help develop fine motor skills in children through more engaging and creative approaches, including:

  • The use of playdough to roll, twist, squeeze, and mold various shapes with their hands and fingers
  • Drawing and painting, or just using crayons to scribble or doodle. Children learn how to precisely place specific colours, and to also build their sense of proportionality
  • Offering finger food at meal or snack time, so children exercise their fingers
  • Block-building projects
  • Involving kids in string-bead projects, where each child threads a batch of colorful beads through string to create something
  • Letting kids create drawings and pictures with dot-to-dot connection projects. This activity not only helps them build precise motor skills, but it also aids in building hand-eye-coordination. And…it results in producing something beautiful that the child (and parents too!) can be proud of

While spending time at a Rockville daycare Child facility provides the ideal environment for young kids to creatively develop fine motor skills – it doesn’t have to stop there! Many of these activities can be continued at home too, with parents, guardians and home caregivers overseeing them.

You may also substitute materials at home, like using real dough (instead of cookie dough) or slime, or using chalk and blackboards instead of crayons and markers. The golden rule, however, is to make the craft project as colorful and vibrant as possible.

While formal caregiving settings have safety built-in with every activity, extending the activity at home requires attention to safe practices. Nonetheless, the longer that kids indulge in these creative activities, the better tuned their fine motor skills develop.

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