Fine motor development is one of the areas that our Sensory Seeker needs work on. I think it is quite common in children starting school to need help to hold a pencil correctly. The Occupational Therapist thought that he is hyper-mobile in his hands and suggested types of exercises to strengthen them.
Things at School to help Fine Motor Development
To help his fine motor development at school he does activities such as threading, and using these tweezers to move small objects from one basket to another. Our Sensory Seeker has special scissors, which can be held by both himself and an adult. All the children work on their fine motor development by practising writing on white boards, first over the top of letters and then without. Well I am delight to say that our son is progressing really well. He can now write his name unaided (jut please ignore the fact that a few of the letters are backwards, small steps) even without the letters underneath.
Things we do at Home to help Fine Motor Development
At home helping him with his fine motor development has been largely through play. Now he is not putting toys into his mouth (so much) we have encouraged more small world play, with less chunky toys. This means he has to uses his fingers more to hold them.
Our Sensory Seeker really likes Superheroes and Villains at the moment. He is lucky enough that we have some in Lego form. Lego is just perfect for fine motor development and he loves changing the heads and bodies on the people, as well as building models. He is loving Lego even more since watching The Lego Movie.
We also have several Lego Superheroes sticker books for him. These are really good for his little fingers to get in and peel them off the book, and stick them where he wants them. He loves stickers of any type at the moment, and has them as rewards at school too.
Another favourite activity that helps with fine motor development is Playdough. I think it that Playdough is good for hand development in general, as well as imagination and mark making (amongst many many fantastic uses).
Of course all this play then helps with his fine motor development for school activities such as painting, writing, gluing etc – he is doing much better at holding things, and is less likely to use a grab hold, but still holds the very end until prompted.
We are encouraging him to do lots of colouring in to help with his fine motor development, and again finding pictures that interest him really helps.
Talking of keeping his interest, I bought some scissors that leave a crinkly pattern on the paper when you cut with them, and just let him free to cut plain paper how he liked.
It is important for his future development that we keep helping him build on his fine motor development skills, to enable to do things independently. With encouragement, he is getting much better at being able to handle cutlery and eat smaller pieces of food (such as raisins).
His diet remains fairly poor but I am happy that it is improving. We have discovered a love of pancakes, which he wants every morning! I am happy as they are egg, milk and flour, plus he eats them with bananas. This is also a great opportunity to help with his hands as he loves to whisk up the mixture.
Do you or someone you care for have trouble with fine motor development or your hands? Do you have any simple ways to help?