Our kids need to learn how to use their fine motor skills every day since they are so crucial to their development. Young learners had grown acclimated to remote learning as a result of the pandemic and became fairly adept at online learning sessions and technology in general. However, one skill was missing from the online sessions: hands-on learning. Parents must assist their children in developing fine motor abilities, and so hands-on learning is critical in both intellectual and motor development.
Arts and crafts activities at home or in the classroom may be used to incorporate these abilities. Crafts are indeed an enjoyable method to develop and improve fine motor skills in children and provide a multitude of learning possibilities.
Meaning of Motor Skills
A motor skill is a function that requires precise movements of the body’s muscles in order to carry out any particular task. It is the muscle movement that we use in our daily lives. It enables us to walk, run, jump, brush our teeth, lift or move objects, write, and so on. Motor skill is a learned skill that requires practice and repetition.
Since motor skills are learned abilities, they are commonly described as developmental indicators for children. For instance, it is expected for a five-year-old child to be able to walk and run without any difficulty or assistance. From the moment they are born, children begin to develop their motor abilities, and this process lasts until they are adults.
Fine motor skills help children strengthen the link between their brain and their body’s muscles enabling them to perform everyday tasks such as –
- Getting dressed with – buttons, zipper, belt, tie
- Holding a fork and spoon
- Holding a pencil, pen, or crayon with the fingers
- Writing, drawing, sketching and painting
- Controlling scissors to make deliberate cuts
- Tying shoelaces
In the early years, parents and teachers must provide kids the opportunity to develop these little muscle movements such as those in the fingers, wrists, and hands.
Importance of Arts & Crafts in Developing Motor Skills
It is generally believed that children who engage in arts and crafts have superior motor skills than those who don’t. Because of the undeniable and evident benefits, it has on children’s development, this viewpoint is widely acknowledged.
1) Children’s hand-eye coordination and dexterity are improved when they engage in any form of arts and crafts activity since they are using their hands and fingers to make something.
2) Children learn to use both their hands at once during arts and crafts activities which enhances their bilateral coordination abilities.
3) Along with improving their motor skills, it fosters creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking abilities.
4) Indulging in arts and crafts activities from a young age helps kids in learning essential school skills such as working with scissors, using a glue stick, drawing and painting with crayons and paintbrush, etc.
5) Building sand castles and molding play-dough or clay both rely on the use of small hand and finger muscles, which can enhance concentration, coordination, and agility.
6) Manipulating small art materials such as scissors and crayons, aid children in strengthening their small muscles which makes it easier for them to hold and control a pen/pencil while writing and taking notes.
Art & Craft Activities to Develop Kids’ Motor Skills
Simple arts and crafts projects can aid in your children’s development of fine motor skills. It is crucial for young children to be able to hold, control, and use crayons, sketch pens, and scissors appropriately before using pens/pencils to write text. You must assist them in gaining the necessary hand and finger muscular strength so that they can write properly without any difficulty.
With the use of simple art and craft materials, there are several easy and enjoyable activities to develop these muscles. While assisting your kids in developing their fine motor abilities, consider incorporating the following fun activities –
- Finger painting
With the help of adhesive tape, stick an A4-sized blank white paper on a board or any smooth surface and provide your children dishes having different colored paints. Allow them to dip their fingers in the paint dishes and draw freely. Avoid giving many instructions to them and let them be creative.
You can have them write letters and small words using finger painting to improve their spelling and language comprehension.
- Mini pot painting
There are mini clay pots available in the market that you can purchase for your kids to paint. Mix acrylic paints with water in a dish and have your child use a paintbrush to color these small pots.
- Bead bracelet/necklace
Give your kids a piece of thread and a couple of colorful small beads. Demonstrate how they can put the thread through bead holes. Ask them to create a bracelet or a necklace for your or their friends using these beads and thread.
- Leaf book
Ask your children to collect a variety of leaves. Have them paint these leaves and allow them to stick them in their book using a glue stick.
Another activity you can do using these leaves is that you could ask your kids to paint one side of the leaf and then place the colored side on the blank page. Once the leaf has marked its impression on the page, remove the leaf. Repeat this activity using different leaves.
- Moulding clay
Clay or play dough is great for strengthening your child’s small muscles because it requires them to roll, squeeze and create something with it using their hands and fingers.
Children can create a lot of things with clay such as a rainbow, shapes, an alphabet, etc. While your kids are making the alphabet, you can make it more entertaining by creating animal figures out of clay and placing them next to the correct alphabet.
- Rakhi making
Give your children a small ribbon or a thick thread and some decorative materials like glitter, beads, pearls, and pom poms. Assist them while they are creating a rakhi using these materials.
- Family collage
Make copies of each of your family members’ photos from your family album. Let your children cut these pictures and stick them on a page. Have them decorate the page using glitter or watercolors or anything else of their choice, and ask them to write a special note or message on the collage for their family.
Art & Craft Supplies to Help Children Develop Motor Skills
These are some art and craft materials that parents must consider because they naturally aid in the development and improvement of fine motor skills in children when employed in activities –
|Buttons||They are small items that help in developing motor abilities. The act of buttoning and unbuttoning something during a craft activity improves hand-eye coordination and strengthens finger muscles.|
|Nuts, screws, and bolts||These construction tools require a great deal of concentration and coordination while being used. Unbolting, tightening, and loosening nuts and screws are interesting ways to enhance motor skills as well as spatial skills in children.|
|Pom poms||Pom poms are normally small, requiring delicate hand and finger motions to pick up, hold, and move. It develops the muscles in the hands and fingers and helps with hand-eye coordination.|
|Beads||Beads are tiny objects that parents can incorporate into their children’s activities such as creating a bead necklace. Putting the bead through the thread requires coordination and concentration.|
|Paper clips||To strengthen your child’s finger muscles, the use of paper clips can be quite useful. You could ask your kids to put together their drawing pages using a paper clip.|
|Playdough||Clay is a great way to improve motor skills in your children since rolling, kneading, and twisting the dough to create something aids in boosting their hand muscles.|
|Toothpicks and Q-tips||This tiny, thin equipment aids in toughening up your children’s small muscles as it necessitates a solid pincer grip to be able to hold it.|
|Tongs and tweezers||They are used to pick and move items. It boosts kids’ hand muscles as it requires them to hold, grip, and lift the object.|
|Elastic rubber bands||Kids can develop their hand strength and fine motor skills with rubber bands, which is a lot of fun. They can be used for a variety of different art and craft activities as they are multifunctional.|