Too often, the emphasis on getting ready to write can overshadow other meaningful moments in motor skill development. The focus on preparing muscles for tripod grip becomes the driving factor for all planned engagements. However, there are many smaller, yet impactful motor actions that the child needs to make that are equally important – after all, the brain is pulling together many factors to make that one action happen! Take the time to slow down and be on the same page with the child, planning and engaging for this moment, not the ones that need to happen further down the line.
The learning environment as a facilitator
Learning environments have a massive impact on children’s learning and engagement, and can stimulate their development of fine motor skills in many ways. In most classrooms, you would find a fine motor activities centre that contains a ton of manipulatives and toys that are goal oriented.
But, take a minute to reflect on the following questions:
- What if we did not contain fine motor development to just one center and integrated it within the whole learning environment meaningfully?
- What if we let children lead with their imagination and a sense of curiosity and exploration?
- What if we allowed them to make, create, and express themselves and still helped develop their fine motor skills?
Cast a critical (but gentle) eye around your learning space as you consider where you might see fine motor development being nurtured. Use these guiding question cards to support your reflection.
Perhaps you are wondering how you can further support fine motor development in your setting? Maybe you realise that setting up engagements for fine motor development has become repetitive. Or, you might just be needing a little inspiration to nudge you in a different direction!
Download this e-book and be inspired by fine motor skill invitations, which meet age appropriate milestones with a play based approach!