We’re talking about what’s important in the classroom today—and ideas and tips that you can use in your classroom tomorrow.
By Laureen Reynolds
Parents are always asking what they can do to help their child do better. The following is a letter filled with activities designed to develop fine motor skills which do not require any special materials to complete. Send it home whenever it suits you but sooner is always better than later – even if it’s in the middle of the year.
Dear Parents,Every year of your child’s development brings new and exciting things. Their brains grow and strengthen with each activity they engage in and as their bodies become more adept at doing things. Right now is prime time for brain growth and one of the best ways to foster that is to put children’s fine motor muscles to use. These small muscles of the hands, fingers, and eyes (just to name a few) play an important role in everything from your child’s ability to take care of themselves at home to their ability to read and write at school. Below you’ll find some fun, simple things you and your child can do using everyday items to make the most of this window of opportunity for brain growth and fine motor muscle development.
- Fill containers with sand, rice, water and then dump out
- Open and close zipper bags or plastic food storage containers
- Use tongs at the dinner table to serve salad
- Cut cake and serve to each family member or cut tube-style cookie dough before baking
- Shuffle and deal cards for a family card game or play card games like Slap Jack or Concentration
- Dry silverware with a dish towel
- Squeeze a spray bottle to help clean a table or windows, or just for fun outside
- Participate in cooking activities like mixing by hand or kneading dough
- Play board games that use dice
- Do crafts that involve cutting or string beads, buttons, pasta…to make decorations for different holidays
- Place coins into a piggy bank slot or flip a coin and keep track of how many times it lands on each side
- Play board games with spinners or moving pieces
- Write or draw on a piece of paper taped to the wall
- Use a baggie filled with ketchup or mustard to practice writing letters
- Play tic-tac-toe but use different letters
- Guess what letter you traced on his/her back then switch jobs
- Screw and unscrew nuts and bolts
- Cut the pictures out of old greeting cards, cut coupons out of the Sunday paper, or cut up junk mail
- Crumple paper to be recycled with their dominant hand only
- Use a manual can opener
- Dial a phone
- Remove staples
As always these activities provide opportunities for you to have conversations and quality time with your child. Choose the ideas that fit into your daily routine and do them as often as you can. Most of all, have fun!
(insert your name)
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