Motor skills refers to coordination of muscles,hands,fingers and eyes.It involves the functioning of body such as grasping objects,holding things,eating and various similar day to day tasks.Mastering motor skills is essential to perform these tasks independently.And perform numerous tasks simultaneously.
A child builds motor skills over time.All a new born can manage is touch.His muscles are weak and have no control over his hands and fingers.By the time he is a few weeks old,he learns to reach out, hold fingers and kick.And when a few months older he learns to hold an object or a toy with his hand.A little older and his motor skills improve and by the time he is 2 years he learns to hold a book ,play with toys,wear clothes and shoes.Keeping a track of these milestones helps you to develop his skills more efficiently.
Developing motor skills is necessary because it helps in
- hand and fingers strength
- hand and eye coordination
- hand domination
- skillful object manipulation
How to encourage motor skills.
- Give him crayons to hold and scribble on papers .This is pincer grasp.Give him toys which has buttons or knobs to flex his fingers.Allow him to pick small objects..Give him clay or dough to play with.It strengthens his fingers and wrist.
- Give your child bigger objects like spoons and forks.Teach him to hold with his hand.Allow him to feed himself.This is an exercise for his hand and arm.He learns to pick food and put into his mouth.He learns to synchronise hand arm and eyes.
- Allow your child to play with stacking games.He learns to use his hand and wrists but with a certain amount of control so that the stacking happens in order.He learns to be careful in controlled movements.
- Give your child a ball and play with him.Ask him to throw and catch.This helps him develop arm power. He coordinates with his eye to aim.
- Provide your child with clay.Ask him to roll out the dough into shapes of objects.
- Stock with games which has laces.Lacing would help him with finger flexibility.
- Provide your child with tracing games.The stencils help him in eye and hand coordination.
- Provide your child with a big board to draw with free hand .It develops his arm power when he utilises the big board to draw with free hand.
- Give your child a jar to screw and unscrew it’s lid.Helps him to make his fingers and wrist strong.
- Involve your child in activities like paper crafts and pasting.Excellent to develop motor skills with coordination of hand and eyes.
- Use water based colours and dip his fingers and hands and draw.Excellent as hand and eye coordination skill.
- Take your child outdoors to play.Bike rides,running,frisbee throwing,rope playing help in overall development of motor skills.
- Motivate your child to play football or badminton.These games develop synchronised coordination and motor skills.
- Dancing is motor practice too.Helps a child to develop balancing coordination and sequence skill.
- Challenges like crawling under a pillow or blanket gets a child to move coordinating with objects and obstacles.
- Encourage your child to play a musical instrument.The keys and strings finely develop motor skills,when a child moves his fingers with precision.
- Specific instructions are needed to use scissors. Teach your child to hold them like in a hand shake.Allow him to cut papers.The opening and closing of scissors strengthens his fingers arms and wrists. Make sure he is supervised by an elder.
The best way to promote motor skills is to provide your child with wide range of material easily available at home.Like vessels,pieces of beatable or stationary.Provide your child with non toxic safe toys , stackers and games to develop motor skills.
Parents are a child’s first and most important teachers.Despite his enthusiasm a child may not spend more than a short time for any activity. Be patient with the endeavour with your child and he shall improve leaps and bounds in the skills.