Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Helping young children develop motor skills

Today's blog is written by PHA RN Brittany Jimenez.
Brittany Jimenez, RN
Brittany has a BSN-RN and is certified in Early Childhool Education.  She previously taught preschool and also taught young children science, cooking, art and math.  And perhaps most importantly, she is a mom herself!

Development of large and small motor skills in the younger child is learned through everyday tasks. Help your child to master these skills by giving them fun (and free) activities at home to encourage motor development. Listed below are a few suggestions:
  • Let children use their imaginations and hop like a frog or slither like a snake! How fast does a cheetah run or how slow does a turtle walk? Can they glide like a figure or hockey skater? Get those legs moving!
  • Pour a cup or two of flour, sugar or salt onto a baking sheet. Encourage children to write letters, numbers and shapes with their fingers.
Draw lines, shapes and circles on pavement with sidewalk chalk. Encourage children to walk the line or jump from shape to shape. Let them explore their inner artist!
  • Give your child an old purse, lunchbox or backpack and let them practice skills like zipping, buckling, snapping, and filling and emptying pockets.
  • Get the party started! Play fun music and let children dance and jump around or play musical chairs. Help them to learn about rhythm and beat by clapping hands or stomping feet!
  •  Help your child learn to trace. Give them markers or crayons and plastic lids, cups or bowls to trace around. Encourage them to cut out their shapes when finished.

  • Bounce or volley a ball back and forth, play catch or toss beanbags. Set up empty milk or juice cartons or boxes and “bowl” outdoors or down a hallway.

  • Use plastic knives and child safe scissors to practice cutting with playdough. Let your child snip pictures from the weekly grocery ad and glue onto a paper plate- what are their favorite fruits or veggies.
Encourage and praise your child when they have mastered a new task! The may want to show you their new skill over and over again- be patient with little learners as they step out into the big world!

Cheetah picture courtesy of:

Chalk picture courtesy of: m_bartosch

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