At Strelitz International Academy, we work hard to ensure your child is set up for long-term academic and personal success, and it starts the moment they walk through our doors. Our preschool program is designed to help your child hit all major developmental milestones. Whether that be social development, language development, physical development, or motor development, we help with it all. One of the most important milestones we help with is fine motor skills. Through the many fine motor activities we provide for our preschoolers, your child can go into our elementary age IB World School Primary Years Program Virginia Beach prepared for the next step.
Fine Motor Skills—Why They’re Important
As children develop, they hit a few key milestones—learning to crawl, learning to walk, learning to speak, and learning to perform daily tasks. Part of their development is learning fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are the skills or tasks that we perform daily with small muscles throughout our body. This includes zipping up jackets, brushing our teeth, tying shoe laces, grasping a pen, typing on a keyboard, etc. Learning to strengthen and control these tiny muscles is the process of developing fine motor skills. This developmental stage is essential in helping children become independent and prepare for primary school.
Our Favorite Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers
While we continually develop our fine motor skills throughout our life, preschool is the age where fine motor skills are just beginning to develop. It is for this reason that preschool is the most crucial stage for increasing fine motor skills. Children can learn this through various age-appropriate activities such as playing with playdough, blocks, puzzles, doing arts and crafts, and playing pretend.
Playdough is one of the best ways for children to develop fine motor skills. With playdough, preschoolers can squish, squeeze, pull, poke, press, roll, and pinch the dough into exciting shapes. This tactile experience is entertaining and helpful for developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Another fine motor activity that preschoolers can participate in, is blocks. Whether this is wooden blocks, legos, Lincoln logs, or others, blocks introduce balance, alignment, transferring, etc., to their small muscles.
Similar to blocks, puzzles help children develop fine motor skills by helping them recognize shapes, twist them, flip them, turn them, etc., to fit into a specific hole. These small movements help to strengthen their muscles and make them more adept.
Another great fine motor activity for preschoolers is participating in arts and crafts. This can include any craft, such as painting, drawing, coloring, or even origami. By gripping a pen, pencil, paintbrush, or crayon, the muscles in their fingers learn to move independently of their wrist and hands. Similarly, origami requires folding, cutting, etc., which uses spatial awareness in addition to fine motor skills to create an entertaining result.
Interestingly enough, playing pretend is also an effective way to strengthen fine motor skills. Pretending to cook a meal, eat a meal, or go grocery shopping allows preschoolers to practice their fine motor skills in a fictitious real-world setting. Through these activities, they can learn how their bodies function in relation to the space around them without the dangers that come from actually cooking.
Fine Motor Skills in Later School Years
The development of fine motor skills not only helps children perform daily tasks but also prepares them for success in their later school years. Activities such as writing, typing, performing labs, filling out tests, etc., all use the fine motor skills developed in childhood. While it is possible to learn these skills later on in life, why not set your child up for success earlier? Instead of having to catch up, they will already be ahead.
Strelitz International Academy—Incorporating Fine Motor Activities in the Classroom
Practicing motor skills is an essential part of their childhood development. Preschools and daycares should incorporate these fine motor activities into everyday classes to help children grow and learn. At Strelitz International Academy, we provide preschoolers with a wide variety of activities that promote fine motor skills development. Through self-directed learning and teacher-guided play, preschoolers continue to develop their fine motor skills and general motor skills. We offer Magna-tiles, blocks, play dough, puzzles, and dramatic play areas (kitchen, baby dolls, and cars), that all aid in this development.
It is through our preschool program that Strelitz students can progress and enter our elementary age IB World School Primary Years program in Virginia Beach. Our preschool/kindergarten graduates learn and develop in a way that sets them up for later success in our program. Discover how the IB program works and learn more about how we introduce new skills to our preschoolers by visiting our website.
Increase your child’s long-term success. Speak with the Director of Admissions and schedule a tour today by calling us at 757-424-4327.