Kids who are between the ages of 12 months and 30 months old are what we call toddlers. This is the time in a child’s life that is just between the infant stage of life and the preschool age of life. This is the time that they begin to walk. They learn to be independent and they try to do so much by themselves. They try to master some of the gross motor skills and fine motor skills that they need to interact with the environment around them. Our children develop these fine motor skills naturally through means of playing appropriately. Toddlers need a good bit of time to explore with toys that are
age appropriate to them. They need to experiment and be able to learn how to manipulate things. They need to learn how to play with art materials. Below are a few tips for helping your toddler learn how to better develop their motor skills.
Toys – One way to help your toddler develop their motor skills is by having a large container of all different types’ and sizes of toys for them to play with. Let your child dump them out and fill the container back up. You will find that your toddler progresses every day in picking up the toys and putting them in the container. Even the act of dumping the toys out on the floor will do wonders for developing their fine motor muscles. The hands, wrists and fingers all get a great muscular benefit from this minor little task.
Fingers/Hands – Give your toddler some finger foods so that they can learn to manipulate and hold these small items with their fingers. When they learn to pick up little things such as green peas, green beans, small pieces of cereal and cut up foods, it helps them to learn how to use their fingers. To give
your toddler an opportunity to practice his motor development, let them practice as much as you can with a spoon, fork and drinking through a straw as well. Lots of good eye/hand coordination will be learned, and using their thumbs and index fingers will teach them how to hold objects and pick them up as well. The pincer grip is also learned by these skills which is the skill that teaches a toddler how to learn to hold a pencil or crayon. These skills will help later when they begin to color and write.
Stacking and Sorting – Toys that let toddlers learn how to stack, sort and lace teach them how to enhance their motor skills. When toddlers sort toys out and stack toys this teaches them how to manipulate things with their fingers and hands. It also lets them develop more of the hand and eye coordination. Shape sorters are fun for toddlers too, but they don’t give the same benefit of sorting colored objects which helps more. Shoelaces or cut out laminated boards that allow toddlers to lace things through holes are great for motor skills. Lacing, which mimics the sewing technique, helps the
toddler with their grasping skills.
Clay/Crayons – When you allow your toddler to play with art materials such as crayons, paper and modeling clay the will learn to be much more creative. The motions they use squeezing for the clay will strengthen their finger and hand muscles as well as the wrists. Toddlers generally hold a crayon first with their wrist and then learn later how to move it to the fingers.
We as parents can help our toddlers stimulate their motor skills by teaching them these things as well as learning how to do things independently. Try a few of the tips above and watch how much quicker your child’s motor skills develop.
David Coleman writes about health and finance at http://healthinsurancequotes.org.