Working Fine Motor Skills

Earlier we discussed gross motor skills, so it’s only fair that we talk about fine motor skills. So what are they? Fine motor skills refer to the small movements of the hands, wrists, fingers, feet, toes, lips, and tongue.

During infancy, fine motor movements remain unconscious reflex actions. Baby’s grips are clumsy and everything they touch usually ends up in their mouths. It isn’t until they reach about 12 months that they begin to master the pincer grip, an important fine motor skill that develops the ability to hold objects between the thumb and index finger.

Fine motor skills are largely developed during toddlerhood and preschool. Toddlers begin to develop the abilities to twist dials, pull strings, turn pages, use crayons, and much more. By the time they reach preschool, they are challenged with more delicate tasks like tying shoelaces.

Unlike gross motor skills, which call for boundless energy, fine motor skills require patience, which is in shorter supply.  It’s crucial that you encourage the development of fine motor skills in your child’s life. Weakness in fine motor skills can affect their ability to eat, write legibly, turn pages in a book, or even dress and groom themselves.

Educational Insights has a few early skill development toys and games specifically designed to strengthen these crucial skills. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game!™  is one in particular that helps children develop fine motor skills while learning to match colors and count. (Pictured above)

There are many ways to have fun with fine motor skills; it all just depends on how you and your child use your noggin!

 

Who says you’re too old to play games?

Here’s our quote of the day. We love this particular quote so much that we have it hanging in our lounge in the office!

“We don’ t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

–George Bernard Shaw

Working on Gross Motor Skills

Although Children’s health month is coming to an end soon, it doesn’t mean that the fun should stop! We highly encourage that you continue to get your kids active and working on those gross motor skills!

What are gross motor skills?  Gross motor skills are the abilities required in order to control the large muscles of the body that are used for walking, running, sitting, crawling and other activities.

They develop over a relatively short period of time, with most of the development occurring during childhood. Encouraging gross motor skills simply requires a safe, open play space, peers to interact with and some adult supervision.

There are a number of activities parents can have children do to help develop gross motor skills. These include:

  • Activities that encourage balancing (jump rope, hop scotch)
  • Activities that develop hand-eye or foot-eye coordination (baseball, football, soccer—anything that involves catching, kicking or throwing a ball)
  • Hopping with a small object in-between their knees and jumping forwards, backwards and sideways.

Young at Heart

“The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.”
–Albert Einstein

All Hands on Deck!

Happy Friday! Since there are so many fun facts about hands, we’ve decided to compile them all into one big interesting post! Read and Enjoy.

Here’s one you might have already experienced: Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails!

But did you know that the pink under your fingernails is the blood in your capillaries? You did?

Okay how about this: There are no muscles inside the fingers. The muscles which bend the finger joints are located in the palm and up in the mid forearm, and are connected to the finger bones by tendons, which pull on and move the fingers like the strings of a marionette.

Here’s food for thought: About a quarter of the motor cortex in the human brain (the part of the brain which controls all movement in the body) is devoted to the muscles of the hands.

Last but not least, did you know that the wrinkles on the back of the finger knuckles are actually dimples? They mark areas where the skin is attached to the tendon beneath the skin.

Now you’ll know the back of your hand a little better than you did before!

You Don’t Realize What You Have Until It’s Gone

“Time and health are two precious assets that we don’t recognize and appreciate until they have been depleted.”
–Denis Waitley