Motor skills are divided up into two areas; fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills are what gives a child the ability to handle or manipulate small objects. Fine motor skills are required for things like drawing, writing painting, cutting and other more intricate tasks. Gross motor skills use more of the larger muscles along with balance and coordination. These skills give young children the ability to run, walk jump, roll, hop and other larger physical movements.
Motor skills are an extremely important part of your child’s early learning years.
Some statistics say that approximately 15% of students attending primary schools experience motor difficulties. Also the ratio of boys to girls with a motor disability is 3:1. These statistics are staggering but an even more shocking statistic is one that says 60% of students also have problems in areas such as speech, short attention span, poor listening, poor self concept, abnormal or unacceptable behavior and general learning problems. A child can also be affected socially from lack of motor skills by being isolated or by having low self-esteem.
Helping Kids Gain Fine Motor Skills & Gross Motor Skills
Despite all these negative statistics there is no need for you child to fall behind. In fact you can help your child do just the opposite. There really are so many ways you can help your child develop in the area of motor skills. To help their fine motor skills encourage them to play with things such as Playdough, Blocks, Puzzles, and Painting. All these activities can help in the development of your child’s fine motor skills because tasks like these require hand and finger coordination.
For the improvement of gross motor skills you can do something as simple as take your child for a hike, let them climb the monkey bars at the playground, or play a sport in which you strike a ball like golf, tennis or baseball. These activities can significantly improve your child’s balance and focus. Having toys inside that simulate those activities can be a big help for days when getting out is just not possible. River Stones with different heights and textures are fun, colorful, and inviting for kids to play with and use their imaginations to create their own games.
Toys & Activities That Help Improve Skills
There are also a wide variety of toys that are made specifically for children with developmental problems so as a parent you have more of a selection when it comes to helping your child. Basic Skills that should be worked on are zippers, buttons, clasps, strings and belts. These are fine motor skills that they will need to perform in their everyday life. The Fine Motor Skills Cube pictured to the left is a great example. For gross motor skills stepping stones with varied color and textures gives the child the sensory benefits while also increasing balance and coordination.
These toys are especially beneficial because your child while having fun is also learning without even knowing. At the same time you can rest easy knowing that your child is getting the motivation they need to help them develop in the area of motor skills. So give your child a helping hand and watch their little minds grow and develop before your eyes.