Gross Motor Skills for Early Childhood Development

Today is the third and final segment of the Motor Movement Series. Fine Motor Movements use the small muscles of the eyes, fingers, toes, wrists, lips and tongue. The small muscles work with both the large muscles to develop movement. They are often for used communication purposes, both functional and expressive, such as writing or typing text, manipulating tools or creating works of art. There is coordination of the eyes and hand, foot and eyes, and dexterity of each of the fingers to write, draw and type. Tactile and space awareness is also developed with fine motor practice.

Some activities used to teach writing include writing letters or numbers in sand, pudding, or shaving cream. Q-tips or cosmetic sponges with water writing on the chalkboard reinforce correct formation of text using water to erase letters. Toothbrushes on dry erase boards manipulate practice with downward and circular brushing movements erasing previously correct formed letters, numbers or words. Dry and wet pasta, beans and rice, other paper mediums, glitter, teach writing with correct placement on paper or cardboard.

Skills to encourage fine motor skills include rolling dough or putty into balls, or hiding objects inside the mixture. Tearing paper, cutting on pre-made lines and patterns teaches forming correct size and shape . Linking materials such as Legos, Unifix Cubes, lacing and stringing activities encourage hand-eye coordination and color patterning. Using pegs, stickers, and flipping cards teach placement of objects.

kidscookingCooking not only teaches fine motor but also life and math skills such as measuring with various types of materials, mixing, stirring and blending using different parts of the hands. Fine motor skills are important to integrate with multiple tasks such as brushing your teeth and combing your hair. Combining two or more fine motor skills is important in developing normally. Self-care skills are also important in developing fine motor abilities such as buttoning, lacing, fastening snaps in clothes, using simple tools, opening and closing drawers, jars and doors and cleaning the house including washing, and cleaning. These skills are necessary for life.


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Christina Chapan

Christina Chapan

Christina Lee Steele Chapan is a certified personal trainer with four certifications from ISSA ACE, AFAA and SCW. She specializes with fitness for children and those adults and children with special needs. In addition to attaining her certifications, she is also a certified elementary and special education school teacher with a B.S. in Elementary Education, a minor in Biblical Studies from North Central University, an endorsement in Special Education, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Development from Governors State University. Her passion is for training the future of tomorrow. She is available for training, speaking and writing.
Christina Chapan

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