Babies have extremely rudimentary skills. Their movements are spastic. They have practically no fine motor skills until they are about 6 months old and even then, they are extremely unrefined. As they grow into toddlers, they have the ability to pick up a spaghetti noodle using the pincer grip. They can do so much more!
And by the time they develop into Preschoolers, that have much better extremity control and dexterity. In this post, we will continue to discuss Fine Motor Skills for Preschoolers, but this time, we will focus on why Transferring Activities are so important at this age. We will also talk about how it is a great way to refine fine motors skills further.
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Fine Motor Skills for Preschoolers
With this transferring activity, we hit 3 different levels of the skill. There are more, but I wanted to touch on the three basic ones in this post. So for this particular activity, you will need: a divided set of trays (2 to transfer to and from), small erasers that have a little bit of grip to them (in this case, beads wouldn’t work as well at the beginning because they are slippery and it would frustrate the child), a spoon, a child-sized pair of tongs and a pair of child-sized tweezers.
Once you have the setup in place, begin with the easiest: the spoon. Have the child carefully use the spoon to pick up one of the small erasers and have the child transfer it to the other divided tray. Continue doing that until the child it “done” or until you feel that the child has mastered the skill. Needless to say, this fine motor skill will be particularly helpful at mealtimes.
Activities for Fine Motor Skills
Next, the child will be given the child-sized tongs. Let the child practice squeezing them closed and releasing them opened while still in the child’s hand. This can take a little bit of time to get used to this movement as it give us the impression that it is an extension of the child’s hand.
Once the skill is practiced, it is time to transfer erasers over to the second tray using the child-sized tongs instead of the spoon. Practice numerous times until the child can grip, hold the grip and then release. Sometimes, it takes several practices to get it and sometimes it is quick. Either way, This skill will tone hand muscles for pencil grip later on during penmanship.
Lastly, the child will refine further the fine motor skills by repeating the same transferring activity. This time, it is with a tool that requires more delicate movements. This practices the same “squeeze and release” skill as the child-sized tongs, except that the tip isn’t covered with anti-slip and it is thinner. It will require more concentration and skill. The fourth step, not shown in pictures, is the use of chopsticks. 🙂
Thank you for checking out our Fine Motor Skills for Preschoolers: Tranferring Activities post!
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So glad I stumbled across you! Now I have the “reasons behind”–the words to explain– why I do these things with young children.
Thank you for sharing. A lot of us ‘teachers” do these things and try to get parents to understand why without knowing ourselves beyound “because it helps”.