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Why do some fine motor skills activities frustrate your child?
Not all activities that are supposed to improve your child's skills actually do so. Why else is your child reduced to tears and frustration when trying them?
Many websites and educational toys will tell you that their activities will improve your child’s fine motor skills.
But perhaps you have found that your child struggles to do the activity, and gives up in frustration – and their fine motor skills remain poor.
I have written this article to help you to understand what is happening, and to help you to choose fine motor skills activities that will really help your child.
So, why DO some “fine motor” activities frustrate your child?
I have found that you can classify fine motor skills activities into two groups:
Does the activity REQUIRE the child to have decent fine motor skills to start with? These activities are the ones that USE fine motor skills.
Coloring in, pencil-and-paper work, building model airplanes, some construction toys, craft work, and threading beads are some of them.
If your child has fairly decent fine motor skills, then
HOWEVER, if your child has poor fine motor skills,
And because your child gives up, their fingers don’t get the practice they need.
Of course, a really determined or bright child may find a method of doing it, but it usually involves using it in a way that does not use the fine muscles of the hands in the way they are supposed to be used.
For example, look at the distorted grip that this child uses to hold the paint brush!
I have also seen children wedging a construction toy between the knees to screw it on, or using their mouth to hold the wire for threading beads.
They may be able to complete the activity with a great deal of effort, but their fine motor skills are not necessarily improved.
SO, which activities DEVELOP fine motor skills?
A fine motor activity that strengthens hand and finger muscles and gradually improves dexterity, is good for developing fine motor skills.
In addition, if your child does an activity that works on one of the Four Essential Bases, it will
eventually have a positive impact on your child’s fine motor skills.
So, whenever you want to do a "fine motor activity" with your child, ask yourself: "Which essential base is this activity working on?"
If it is an activity merely for the sake of activity, demanding skills that your child does not have, then you will both be frustrated.
But if the activity is developing an Essential Base, then your child has a better chance of succeeding and enjoying the task.
Almost all of the fine motor activities on my site are aimed at trying to improve your child's fine motor skills,without assuming their skills are good to start with!
I hope you were helped by this explanation of the different kinds of fine motor skills activities.
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