Use Crafts to Develop Fine Motor Skills
The development of fine motor skills begins in infancy and impacts people throughout adulthood. Fine motor skills are the combined use of small muscle groups, primarily those in the hands and fingers, and eye-hand coordination. Actions such as picking up small foods, hand clapping or folding a piece of paper all require the use of fine motor skills. Improvement of dexterity continues into the toddler years and affects everyday tasks for the remainder of a person’s life.
In order to ensure full development of this ability, toddlers and infants should be given opportunities to practice the skill regularly. Crafts are a fun, engaging opportunity for toddlers to practice and develop their fine motor skills while tapping into their creativity. National Craft Day on March 14 is a perfect opportunity to take time for fun developmental learning.
Everyday objects can be used to create fun and educational crafts. Toddlers can create rock art using age appropriate and safe products. Try your and the little ones’ hand at creating Monster Rocks with just rocks and finger paint. For a more free flowing art activity that really utilizes dexterity, encourage your child to use crayons to draw on a rock. The task of holding the crayon and drawing shapes exercises the child’s fine motor skills. Create a glossy finish for the crayon drawing, use a hair dryer to melt and swirl their handiwork into fun shapes.
Though children under a year old may not be old enough to participate in creating crafts, encouraging them to play with various objects can meet the same goal. Infants can play with toys such as blocks and shape-sorting games to exercise eye-hand coordination.
Local libraries may also offer special activities for National Craft Day. Check with your local library for additional crafting opportunities.