Fine Motor Skills

Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Brain Connect

On Monday mornings sometimes brains need a little help to get started so here is a brain connecting exercise for fun and learning that helps with kindergarten readiness, too.

We have all heard that the brain has two halves. Although some research questions this idea, the left side is logic and language and the right being creative and visual. Optimal thinking is having both halves work together! One way to link the two halves is with an exercise that requires each hand to cross to the other side.

First, have your child give himself/herself a hug, by crossing arms more or less at the shoulders. Now, hands drop down with arms cross to the hips and then the knees. Standing back up, show your child to bend one arm up, with the elbow pointed down. The other hand reaches over and holds the bottom of the elbow. Switch arms and do it over a few times. This can be very challenging for young kids. Grown ups can also do this to boost thinking, (especially when they have to think of where they’ve put something).

This is a handy exercise for connecting the two sides of the brain and you can do it anywhere and anytime. Did you know that hands could help brains think better?

Kindergarten Readiness – June Bugs For Fun and Learning #9

You can really squeeze out lots of kindergarten readiness learning and fun in today’s play-dough bug-making activity. Playing with playdough needs  actions such as squeezing, smooshing, rolling, bending, and more.  When playing with play-dough these are some of the learnings and skills developed:ladybug-playdo

  • fine motor dexterity and strength; hand-eye coordination, visualizing,
  • vocabulary and descriptive language, measuring, counting, pre-writing,
  • sensory information such as shapes, texture, temperature, touch, size,
  • problem-solving, planning, imagining and pretending,

In this photo, little hands are making bugs. Please note the following formula: 2 separate colors of playdough will become 2 colors of playdough mixed together. We talked about parts of bugs, names of bugs, where we find bugs, experiences with bugs, colors, sizes, and shapes of bugs. (Don’t adults supporting kids as they learn have wonderful topics for conversation?) What other kindergarten readiness can we squeeze out of play-dough?

Readiness for Kindergarten – Fine Motor Valentine Fun

Valentine art activities are so much fun for kids. They get to craft and create at the same time as they explore and discover. Fine motor control is very much in the developmental stage at this age level so some activities are too tricky for wee little ones but there are still lots of them that younger toddlers can do. These three ideas following kept a 3 year old busy this week practicing fine motor control and developing attention skills which are helpful for kindergarten readiness.

valentine play doughPink playdough is easy for hands to squish and smoosh. Little fingers worked hard to stick in some small pink items for a pink sculpture on a plate. This would be doable by younger preschoolers, as long as they are past the putting-things-in-the-mouth stage.

heart staimping paper rollI saw the toilet paper roll valentine paint stamping on In Lieu of Preschool. It looked simple and easy. A stamp pad didn’t make hearts as distinct as paint but a toilet paper tube does bend into a heart shape and make a neat, disposable paint-brush. Paint on a sponge is another option.

Using a paint dabber must have been quite rewarding because L. covered the entire cereal box side. I had expected some dabs scattered on the paper but there were so many we had to leave it to dry. When it was ready I needed to help with the cutting because it was so stiff. Then we looked through the box of sewing and other scraps to choose some treasures to glue on. I thought this would be more exciting than the dabbing, but it had to be done a little bit here and there. Sometimes what we think is the boring part is what kids like to do the most.

There is no doubt that kids like to create. They love to show and share their work, too. Helping them feel a healthy amount of pride in what they can do is more than readiness for kindergarten; it’s at the very heart.

Kindergarten Readiness – Pumpkin Plasticine, Google & Gumby

Did you see Google today? And those 5 balls of colored clay? I wonder if Art Clokey played with plasticine as a child and that was the inspiration for Gumby? Gumby is the inspiration for today’s post about kindergarten readiness and fine motor skills. At a recent event I spoke with an Occupational Therapist about … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Pumpkin Plasticine, Google & Gumby

Kindergarten Readiness – F=Fine Motor Skills

How the muscles move and work together are often called motor skills. These are divided into small and large muscle coordination but are usually called fine or gross.  Gross or large muscle skills develop earlier than fine motor ones but f comes before g so the order will be switched. Some examples of fine motor skills … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – F=Fine Motor Skills