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Motor development in children: small motor skill activities

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Small motor skills (or as I call them, fine motor skills) are the coordination of small muscle movements, which usually occur between the synchronization of hands and fingers, with the eyes. Any activity that involves the use of hands, fingers and eyes helps develop these skills, which also aid in writing and drawing.

Tools such as tweezers, chopsticks (tied together at one end with a rubber band) and clothespins are good for the pincer grip, where the thumb and pointer finger are used. Ask them to pick up small objects like mini pom poms and place them into a container.

Encouraging children to dress themselves or practice on a dressed, stuffed bear is also beneficial. Zippers, snaps, and buttons require this dexterity.

Give children safety scissors and have them practice cutting to involve the use of their whole hand. Gluing googly eyes on top will remind them that the scissors must be held a certain way.

Have them repeatedly squeeze a stress ball or some kind of squishy object to strengthen their hand muscles.

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