The Magic of Hands: A Very Fine Motor Skill
Have you ever considered the magnificent movement of our hands? It is an intricate harmony between our nerves, muscles and vision. There are nine muscles that control the pinky finger alone! Our ability to reach for and touch what we see is one of the first ways that babies begin to socially interact, explore their environment, and learn.
The journey to develop our hand movement starts simply by watching the world around us, and by watching our own hands. By the time a child is ready to begin kindergarten, he/she should be able to hold a crayon with their thumb and two fingers to copy basic shapes and some letters, button zip their clothes, and use scissors to snip lines on paper.
There are fun ways to help your child develop good fine motor (hand) skills. Encourage your kids to play and explore outside digging in sand and dirt, throwing rocks in water, swinging and hanging on branches or monkey bars. Play indoors with building toys, dressing and undressing dolls, modeling clay, play-dough, scissors and paper, chalk boards, painting, and coloring. Children need hours of free play to practice and repeat skills to get them right.
If you notice these red flags for fine motor development by the time your child is 3 years old, you may want to talk to your doctor or an Occupational Therapist.
Movements are shaky or stiff
Arms and hands seem very weak
Unable to stack 2-3 blocks well
The only way they hold a crayon is with a full fist
Unable to use a fork or pull up their pants
The Occupational Therapists at Delaware Speech and Hearing are specialists in helping children develop many skills, including fine motor. If you have concerns about your child’s movement, please call us at 740-369-3650 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you and be a part of your child’s journey!
Written by Diane Ridge, Occupational Therapist, Delaware Speech and Hearing Center
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