Fine motor skills are what allow us to coordinate and use the small muscle groups in our hands, wrists, and fingers in a controlled way. Mastering these skills as kids gives us the ability to be more independent and perform tasks like eating, writing, brushing our teeth, and getting dressed on our own. Refining fine motor skills at a young age ultimately helps set kids up for success personally, socially, and even academically. Keep reading to discover the benefits of working on fine motor skills and how printables activities can serve as great learning tools.
Benefits of Refining Fine Motor Skills
Practicing and refining fine motor skills is what will allow children to efficiently and successfully complete day-to-day tasks, play instruments, and use tools such as writing instruments and scissors. There are several main benefits to improving fine motor skills at a young age.
Enhances hand-eye coordination
Most hand movements require visual input to be effectively carried out. Without the ability to coordinate hand and eye movements, individuals would not be able to carry out the simplest actions. In order to play catch, place objects, and write, children need to master hand-eye coordination.
Helps children learn to use tools
In order to use tools, such as writing instruments or scissors, and handle small items, such as buttons or zippers, children need to have fine motor skills. As these skills develop, children will be able to perform more tasks without help, which will help them continue to grow and develop as individuals.
Helps children become more independent and confident
When children better understand how their bodies work and the muscles in their hands and fingers become stronger, they are able to do more tasks on their own. Children who can grasp, hold, and pinch will be able to brush their own teeth and button and zip clothing. Children who are able to act independently and complete tasks on their own will develop more self-confidence.
Promotes cognitive development
Improving fine motor skills in young children may help them succeed academically, as some research suggests that fine motor skills are involved in the development of cognitive abilities. For example, researches at the University of Nottingham School of Psychology found that fine motor skills were a significant predictor of math abilities in preschool students.
Using Printable Activities to Build Fine Motor Skills
Including fun activities, such as printables, into the daily routine of children is a great way to help them improve fine motor skills. Printable activities can engage children and get them excited about working on improving their abilities. The four summer-themed printable activities below from the University of St. Augustine, which involve coloring, cutting, tracing, and placing objects, will help children build the fine motor skills they need to succeed.
Sea Animals Coloring Printable
This activity involves using crayons or markers to color, which can help strengthen wrist stability. Additionally, using tools like scissors can teach hand strength and hand-eye coordination.
Ice Cream Cone Grid Drawing Printable
Grid drawing activities can help children practice their observational skills. Splitting up the drawing into smaller pieces also helps children understand proportions and how to observe details.
Beach Trip Line Tracing Printable
Line tracing is the perfect exercise for children who are just beginning to print their letters. Tracing helps children strengthen the muscles they need to start writing.
Rainbow Placement Printable
This activity helps children work on grasping and placing objects, which can be a valuable precursor to writing. This process strengthens the small muscles needed, while also working on hand-eye coordination.