Watching your child’s ability to draw and write improve over time is very exciting as a parent. You’ll notice lines on the paper become more controlled, and before you know it; your child is writing and drawing pictures and words you can easily decipher. At Rainbow Child Care Center, we believe in combining classroom activities that promote fine-motor skills and muscle strengthening and control. Children do not just learn how to write through using a pencil and paper, they can learn in a variety of ways. We offer hands-on practice writing and drawing through journals, but we also choose classroom activities such as ribbon pulls, play-doh, and daily routine activities such as snack time to work on the muscles that create great writers. We also recognize that children do not learn how to write letters solely through writing them on paper, so we encourage activities like writing letters in sand with their fingers and drawing letters in the air. These fun experiences help cement letter shapes in children’s minds, because children are actively engaged.
You can help your child gain fine-motor and hand writing skills at home by:
Snack Time: Snack and meal times are a great way to work on grip and develop your toddler’s hand muscles. Choose snacks like cheerios, pretzels, and other small foods that require your toddler to use their fingers to pick up and their arm muscles to put the food in their mouth.
Pom-poms: Use a water bottle, or cut holes into a container with a plastic lid. Give your toddler pom-poms from the craft store, and let them push the pom-poms into the opening or hole.
Play-Doh: Squish it, squeeze it, roll it, and pound it; play-doh is a great way for preschoolers to use their hand muscles and become strong writers.
Tearing Paper: Draw or print an outline of an apple (or other object). Give your child paper to tear into small squares; then have them glue the squares of paper inside the object. The tearing strengthens hand muscles, and the gluing strengthens arm, hand, and wrist muscles.