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As parents, we want to give our kids the best start in life and in school. What many parents do not realize is that because of the use of educational apps, where a child swipes instead of writes, children are heading off to school without the necessary fine motor skills necessary to hold a pencil, hold scissors, and use glue. So here are 5 easy low prep things you can do at home to help kids develop fine motor skills.
1. Stickers- Let your kids use stickers. Stickers are a great way to enhance fine motor skills because in order to pull the stickers off of the paper, your child has to use the pincher grasp. There are so many ways to use stickers in educational ways. One way to do that is to write a letter on a piece of paper. Once you have done that, have your child put stickers over the letters. Another way is to use reusable sticker books such as these ones from Melissa and Doug.
2. Use a Q-tip and trace alphabet numbers and letters. One of the favorite activities that kids loved to do in my classroom were sandpaper letters. To create them, we would write a letter on a blank piece of paper, and then have the kids take a Q-tip, dip it in glue, and then trace the letter. We would then pour craft sand on the glue. We would then shake off the excess, and voila! Sandpaper letter. Your kids will love this one! If you need craft sand, these are my favorites!
3. Put poms in the top of a water bottle. This is a really easy one and involves almost no prep at all! Simply grab some poms or cotton balls, take the lid off of a water bottle, and have your child fill up the water bottle by putting the poms or cotton balls through the top. If you need poms, you can find them here.
4. Create a pasta necklace. This one is also super easy and requires almost no prep. Simply grab some yarn or ribbon and pasta, and your child thread the pasta through yarn or ribbon. To make a fun edible snack, you could also use Cheerios or Fruit Loops.
5. Spoon beans from one cup or small bowl to another. Just take dried beans, put them in a clear cup and set down two clear cups on a table. Give your child a small spoon and let them practice their skills by transferring them one cup to another.
I hope these activities help your little ones!