Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills require the use of small muscles, such as those in the hands, fingers and thumbs. These are the skills required to grasp small objects, write and fasten clothing.
How can you help baby to develop Fine Motor Skills?
Newborn to Three Months:
Encourage baby to reach and grasp for things like rattles, soft toys or your fingers.
Three to Six Months:
Try giving baby toys that make sounds, and encourage her to shake or rattle them.
Put toys just out of her reach when she’s on her tummy so that she can reach and grasp for them.
Sit her on your lap and give her toys to hold.
Six to Nine Months:
Teach baby to clap her hands and wave bye bye.
Nine to Twelve Months:
In their highchairs, baby can learn to pick up small items such as raisins or small crackers, using the pincher grip.
Try giving baby objects that she can stack.
In the bath, allow baby to use containers to scoop and pour water out of.
Out of the bath, baby can use those same containers in a sandpit, for example.
Look for building blocks that she can try banging together.
Twelve to Eighteen Months:
Let baby have her spoon to feed herself with at mealtimes.
Why not make some playdough for baby to have fun squeezing and rolling?
When dressing or undressing your baby or toddler, allow them to pull off their socks and put them back on again. Allow them to pull their hat on and off.
Stringing beads, or putting large wooden beads onto a wooden post is great for developing fine motor skills.
Have a look for chunky wooden puzzles with knobs on them that are easy for young children to grasp.
Look for stacking toys, shape toys that need to be fitted through holes, pulled or pushed.
Let your child bang saucepan lids together, and stir bowls with wooden spoons.
When you read stories with your little one, let them turn the pages.
Try letting your toddler drawing, using crayons. As they get older, encourage children to colour in the lines to develop control.
Use child safe scissors to cut out shapes for older toddlers.
Encourage your toddler to help get herself dressed.
Let her open boxes, lids and drawers.
Encourage her to wash her hands by herself.
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