Fine motor skills are often an overlooked element to a child’s early development, which is why it is an essential part of Early Learning, so much so that the Government have included fine motor skills as a separate area of learning in their new proposed Early Learning Goals that have been trialled in many schools nationally.
Developing control of hands and fingers is a major part of children's Physical Development, however this development also leads to the growth of many other skills such as Reading and Writing.
Fine motor skills develop slowly and are built on the gross motor skills already established. Prior to the development of the fine motor skills, there are other muscle groups that need to mature successfully:
Muscles of the neck & core muscles of the trunk
Back, shoulders & upper arms
Upper arms & upper legs
Muscles of the shoulder to the wrist
The legs from knee to ankle
Hands & fingers
A missed or incomplete earlier stage will affect a later stage, for example, a child who has not had time to develop shoulder, arm and wrist muscles will not be able to control fine movements of their fingers easily. Therefore they would struggle to hold a pencil comfortably using the tripod grip, use a range of small tools, including scissors, paintbrushes and cutlery, as well as show accuracy and care when drawing and copying.
In Nursery we help to develop the children’s skills in this area in many ways, including them engaging in activities such as;
Threading & weaving
Using tweezers to pick up objects
Manipulating elastic bands to make shapes using the Geo Boards
And much more...
At Brabyns we feel that it is important for our Nursery team to work in partnership with parents and carers to further improve the development of fine motor skills. In doing so, we can ensure that the children are equipped with the necessary skills to progress in School.
By Miss Pickford