Fine Muscle Skills: Getting Young Children Ready to Learn
Parents want their children to grow up to succeed in life. They want their children to feel like they can do anything they put their minds to. This can-do attitude comes from every day experiences children have early in life when others notice and encourage their efforts. Outside of the family, one of the first places children have a chance to do well is in school. For young children, doing well in school means being ready to learn. Being ready to learn is much more than knowing the alphabet and counting to ten. Readiness requires that children develop their physical abilities, language skills, self-control, social skills and desire to learn.
Young children need to be able to control the smaller movements of their hands and fingers. Control of these small muscles is important for children’s later handwriting skill development. Children are using fine muscle skills when they grasp, touch and feel objects of different sizes, textures and weights. These skills also develop when children are given the chance to feed themselves finger foods, cereal, crackers and toast or to practice using a spoon. Learning to manage buttons, snaps, zippers, and other clothing fasteners also helps children learn to control these important muscles. Artistic play helps children develop both creative and fine muscle skills. These skills develop best when adults allow children to try things without being pressured to do them in a certain way.
You can assist the learning by doing some of the following activities:
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