"I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…marvelous are Your works” Psalm 139:14.
God created our bodies with intricacy and precision; all parts are meant to work together for the good of the whole. The brain is an important organ that controls every process of our body, including fine motor skills. Coordination of movement with eyes and hands is developed over time and is a skill that enables functions such as writing, grasping small objects and fastening clothing. A young child’s brain develops the awareness and the planning necessary to complete tasks as the child’s nervous system matures.
Muscle strength, coordination, sensation (being aware of where your hands, arms and fingers are and how they are moving together) and stability are essential bases for this development. Weaknesses in fine motor skills can affect a child’s ability to progress at school in various areas including learning to write legibly, use a computer, turn pages in a book, manipulate various tools, and looking after personal care matters. Fine motor skills that have developed properly will enable a child to succeed in everyday life experiences as well as the school setting.
Offering a wide range of developmental play centres has proven to help children develop the fine motor skills necessary. Learning to use the small muscles of the body competently can be lots of fun. In our Kindergarten classroom some of the activities used to develop fine motor skills include, Lego, play dough, pegboards, nuts and bolts, puzzles, dress-up clothes, games with tongs, materials to sort, art supplies and construction material such as Tinkertoys and building blocks.
Written by Kathi Cooper who has taught Kindergarten for 20 years, with an additional 9 years teaching other primary grades. Fourteen of those years have been at Muskoka Christian School. Kathi offers thanks to Donna Ackerson who has blogged on this topic.