Are You Worried About Summer Slide?A lot of people are rightfully worried about “summer slide” for their kids. I am not fretting much about academics, but I am worried about my daughter’s fine motor skills and her ability to master cursive in the third grade. I wouldn’t say that she is significantly behind, but I could compare her writing samples with other kids’ work in the classroom this year and see where she is at. Interestingly, I could see clearly that boys are lagging behind girls in their ability to control their pencils, and that my daughter, is on the lower end of “average” for this skill, which might explain why she is a reluctant writer. One can argue that handwriting is less important in this age of electronic devices, however, school work does require progressively more writing, and I wouldn’t want Smarty to struggle just because writing is mechanically difficult for her. So I have a sneaky plan to have this summer as a summer of fine motor skills for her, and it doesn’t mean spending a lot of time writing – she “abhors” (her word) doing it and resists it as much as she possibly can.
20 Ways to Practice Fine Motor Skills
- Try any musical instrument, almost all of them require high degree of dexterity.
- Make jewelry with a Rainbow Loom or with beads.
- Peel potatoes, cut with a real knife (or a butter knife if motor skills are behind)
- Knead dough and clay.
- Make concoctions for play that require kneading.
- Practice different knots, tie shoes.
- Build something using a glue gun.
- Sew, knit or crochet.
- Build something that involves a hammer and a screwdriver.
- Play Cat’s Cradle
- Try a sport that requires dexterity – archery or ping pong might be good!
- Fold origami.
- Make paper dolls and clothes for them.
- Make fuse beads designs.
- Practice make up and face painting.
- Make small things that require precise control – decorations for a doll house, bottle cap jewelry, matchbox pets.
- Make glue-salt-watercolor paintings – squeezing glue is a great exercise.
- Learn some sleigh-of-hand magic tricks.
- Build with straws and pipecleaners (cutting pipecleaners and straws requires hand strength).
- Learn to juggle (improves hand eye coordination).
Your TurnWhat do you think are best ways to encourage fine motor skills practice for big kids?
More Hands-on Work for Fine Motor Skills?Follow my Pinterest board Concoctions for Play. Many recipes and activities are very tactile and involve a workout for little fingers.
2014 After School Link Up Hosts
- The Educators' Spin On It
- Planet Smarty Pants
- Boy Mama Teacher Mama
- Coffee Cups and Crayons
- Mama Smiles
- Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational
- The Measured Mom
- This Reading Mama
- What Do We Do All Day