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    Resources for Families: 

     

    1. 25 Fine Motor Activities for Kids Age 6+  (https://www.growinghandsonkids.com/25-fine-motor-activities-older-kids.html)

     

    2. Developing Motor & Self-Care Skills for Kindergarten Readiness

    As your child prepares to start kindergarten, he/she needs many opportunities to develop fine motor, gross motor and self-care skills. Children this age develop motor skills best through play.

     There are many activities that are available to promote the development of these skills before starting kindergarten. Activities should match your child’s interest level and should not be viewed as work. If your child does not like a particular activity, the underlying skills could be developed through another activity. Many children enjoy playing technology-based games. If your child enjoys these games, please balance the time playing these games with other play activities both by themselves and with other people.

     

    Gross Motor Skills: Play activities using the larger muscles of the body can be helpful in the development of fine motor skills used in school. When the arms, trunk and legs have good stability, strength and endurance, the hands and fingers often develop better coordination and skill needed for writing, coloring, cutting, and other school activities. Some examples for the development of gross motor skills are:

    • Running games such as tag and hide & seek.

    • Throwing/catching balls of different sizes and textures

    • Swimming

    • Using playground equipment (swings, monkey bars, climbing equipment, balance beams, etc.)

    • Playing hopscotch

    • Riding a bike or a scooter

    • Jumping rope

    • Walking/hiking as a family- both in your neighborhood and (if possible) in the woods. Walking on different terrains develops strength and endurance.

    • Skating or rollerblading

    • Helping to plant flowers, weeding, and caring for vegetable gardens.

    • Many children benefit from opportunities to lie on their bellies (supported on their forearms) for reading, drawing, coloring, playing games and watching TV. This position is very good to build upper body strength and endurance in the trunk, neck and upper arms. It is important to have a strong and stable base in the body for the hands and fingers to develop improved skill. Try to encourage this position when possible.

     

    Fine Motor Skills: Play using the smaller muscles of the hands and arms will help to develop fine motor and eye-hand coordination skills. Some examples for the development of these skills are:

    • Playing card and board games geared for this age child. If travel size games are available, they have smaller pieces that require refined control. Connect 4 (travel size), Jacks, shooting marbles, Pick-up Sticks, Lite Brite and Ker-Plunk are also great games to develop fine motor skills.

    • Coloring/activity books- Try to work towards improved control when coloring. Most of the activities in coloring/activity books help to develop refined control needed for writing.

    • Playing with assembly toys such as Leggo’s, Lincoln logs, Tinker Toys, etc.

    • Craft projects may provide several benefits for young children. Examples can include painting wooden animal shapes, placing beads to make stained glass, stringing beads to make jewelry, decorating shirts with paints, etc.

    • Cooking and baking activities also provide many opportunities to develop motor skills, counting, sequencing steps in a process, problem solving and creativity. Examples for developing fine motor skills include helping to open packages (using scissors to cut sealed packages if needed); stirring wet and dry ingredients; using cookie cutters for cut-out cookies; spreading frosting, butter, jam, or peanut butter; and rolling out dough.

    • Assembling puzzles

    • Playing with an Etch-a-Sketch and Magna Doodle

    • Using scissors: Your child can cut coupons from the newspaper and cut specific shapes from cereal and cracker boxes. In addition, encourage your child to help cut wrapping paper for gifts. Many coloring/activity books include pages and projects to develop scissor cutting skills.

    • Drawing pictures with a variety of media-chalk, crayons, colored pencils, finger-paints, etc.

    • Folding paper to make airplanes, fans, hats etc.

     

    Self-Care Skills: While in kindergarten, children will have opportunties to manage clothing fasteners and open food packaging.

    • If new clothing needs to be purchased to wear in school, please consider if your child has the independence to manage the buttons, snaps, belts on that specific clothing. As boys and girls use the bathroom, working towards independent management of these fasteners is helpful.

    • When opportunities arise, please encourage your child to practice zipping, snapping and buttoning coats for cooler and rainy weather.

    • If your child wears shoes with laces, please begin teaching him/her to tie shoelaces.

    • When opportunities arise, please practice skills that may be needed to open food containers and packaging. Examples include removing paper from straw wrappers, opening screw-top milk bottles, opening peel-back foil lids (such as for single serve applesauce and yogurt containers), opening sealed snack bags, etc.

    • Most drinks provided at lunch are in an open cup or can be used with a straw. If your child has not had many opportunities drinking from open container, please practice this skill with your child.

    • When choosing a backpack to use in school, please consider a style in which your child can independently put on and take off his/her body and open the compartments.

     

    3. General Suggestions for Practicing Handwriting Skills at Home

    • Find ways to incorporate writing into daily activities. An example is to ask your child to help write a grocery list, or a list of things that need to be done on a certain day.

    •  Play games that require keeping score, and ask your child to be in charge of writing the scores. If help is needed for calculating scores, provide the assistance needed.

    • Encourage your child to complete mazes, crossword puzzles (at his/her age level) and word searches. These activities help to develop refined control to write or draw lines in a specific location.

    • If possible, encourage your child to write letters to a relative who lives out of town. Writing thank-you notes for birthday and holiday gifts is also a nice opportunity to use his/her neatest writing.

    •  Help your child develop an address book of important phone numbers and addresses of family and friends.

    • One family developed a weekly activity of asking each family member write one positive thing that happened that week, or a goal for the coming week. They are written on a small piece of paper and placed in a container. The ideas were shared and the family supported each other to celebrate positive accomplishments.

    • Organize family pictures in an album and ask your child to assist to write the events, dates, places and/or people in the photos. 

    • Drawing and coloring at any age can help develop the fine motor coordination skills that can help improve the neatness of handwriting. For older children, age-appropriate coloring books are available at local craft supply stores.

     

    4. Activity Village (web-based resource of printable activities and games)  https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/

      

    5. The Zones of Regulation   http://www.zonesofregulation.com/index.html 

     

    6. Social Thinking  https://www.socialthinking.com/