Play Time: Fine Motor Magic

Fine motor skill development is a big focus for children age around 2 years old and older and surprisingly there are a tonne of fun games for helping children learn these skills.

For this game you will need large (A4)cards with shapes drawn on them with colourful pens. A good starting set would include a circle, a square, a triangle, a straight horizontal line and a straight vertical line.

To start the game put the cards facing down in a row. Invite the child to choose a card. When he or she picks one, ask them to describe or name the shape or if they don’t yet know the shape describe it together and give the child the name of it.

For the next part of the game, and this is the fun part, slowly practice drawing the shape in the air together with your fingers. You can start by touching index fingers and you can guide the ‘air drawing’. Then you can take turns practicing drawing the shape in the air. Once the child is quite confident in their air drawing, ask them if they would like to practice on  paper. Provide a large piece of paper and practice using fingers only. You can guide the child by gently holding their hand as they draw the shape on the paper with their finger. Once they have got the hang of this congratulate and praise the child for their efforts. The tell the child, ‘ I bet you could draw (or paint) a (name the shape) using a crayon (or paintbrush)!’.

When you first start with this step, its a good idea to help the child the first few times. Once they are confident to draw the shape on their own, encourage them to go very slowly at first so that they can become confident in the pattern and hand movements. Later as the child improves, see how quickly they can draw the shape.

Written by: Bianca Steyn

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