We are always working on crafts. I love making fun things with the boys, but I have another rationale for doing these items. Most crafts involve working on fine motor skills while being creative. Although NHL has received Occupational Therapy over the years, we need to practice to reinforce items at home. Doing these skills also helped JSL to stay on top of his game.
The photos above were taken a few summers ago when working on a project with the kids. It reminded me of a post that I wrote for another project about working on fine motor development with young children.
It is no secret that I love to do arts and crafts. As a teacher, I used to make sure that there was always some way for children to express themselves artistically. Rewind to when my oldest was a toddler. We were having NHL evaluated for Occupation Therapy based on some fine motor delays. Suddenly, I was being asked why my child had no idea how to use scissors.
You mean I was supposed to introduce my child to scissors before this point? I am not kidding. I had never thought to use them with my young first born child when he was a toddler. We did plenty of activities with crayons, markers, Play-Doh, and beyond. Yet, all of my child friendly scissors were far, far away from NHL. I think I was a bit too worried about the trouble he could get into, if they were near him.
We quickly changed this. I bought a Play-Doh set that included an extruder, scissors, and other items that would assist NHL with more fine motor skills. At daycare and at home, we would make a lot of holiday themed activities. Small scissors were also purchased to help NHL to become more familiar with them. It is not the easiest thing to help a child learn to hold and use scissors properly. Their small hands can be awkward when first learning the motions needed for cutting. Luckily, there are now videos online to give assistance to families. We made a lot of projects to work on cutting.
Toddlers need to have plenty of fine motor activities. When my youngest, JSL, was a toddler, he used Play-Doh scissors early on. Regular scissors came soon after thanks to watching big brother use them. An easy activity to do with your child is making a collage. Collect a few magazines. Allow your child to cut pictures that they like. Let them use glue sticks to secure their pictures onto a larger piece of paper. The smile on their face when they are finished with their masterpiece will be priceless.
As your child gets more comfortable using scissors, the possibilities are endless. During the fall, you can trace leaves with construction paper, cut them out, and decorate them to use around your home. Take your child’s hand, trace it, then make a turkey to get into the spirit of Thanksgiving. Have your child be a coupon cutting helper. Show them the dotted lines on the coupons to cut. Not only will they be working on a skill, you can start using them to save for more arts and crafts projects.
What activities do you like to do with your children to promote or work on fine motor skill development?
Disclosure: Parts of this post were previously published on a project I worked on. The text is mostly the same, but I placed a new introduction to go along with a topic that continues to be important for families.
Toys R Us sometimes has buy-one-get-one-free Crayola sales, so the last one they had, I stocked up on kids scissors. Not much unlike my own scissors, I can never seem to find a pair! My girls are most definitely into crafts, and it is good to have a nice pair of scissors.