I'm finding that my 5 year old does not have very good fine motor skills at all. (She still scribbles like a 2 year old.) This is hard because I know that she needs to be learning how to write and stuff this year (kindergarten) and I feel discouraged about it. Does anyone know of ways to help her improve her fine motor skills for writing/drawing etc....? She knows all her letters and stuff and can read a bit already, so I wanted to work on the writing aspect of her learning too. But when I ask her to draw or color, she's all over the page. Thanks! EL
My son was also having trouble with fine motor skills and had NO interest in coloring and/or writing! Here's some of the things I've tried (and over the last year he's had a BIG improvement and actually is writing and coloring (maybe only half a page at a time though!)..... Playing with (manipulating) play-doh is a good exercise and helps build the muscles; Stringing beads (start with bigger beads so less frustration!); cutting and pasting-- I find stuff online and also get them from workbooks for skills for pre-k; mazes (they have been such a life saver for us-- he will do tons of them and I buy them from the dollar store, print from websites and buy the more expensive ones that fit his current interest.. and hey, I'm just happy to see a pencil in his hand ); dot to dot numbers and alphabet (another big hit around here); the tubs of pre-cut shapes from foam... he has to pick up the little pieces and then glue them on and/or he'll cut stuff from the sheets of foam, I also will use buttons and beads to glue them to a big A (or some other letter or picture) I've drawn or something else to paste them to.. Again, it's the picking up and placing of the buttons and beads that help. I try to find fun crafty things for him that will encourage him to use his fingers and hands. Playing finger songs like where's thumbkin, etc.... I have a friend who has a 2nd grader and she has fine motor skills difficulty. The teacher really pushed the playing with play doh for her. Oh one other thing that I have him do is play with felt boards.. I don't know if it actually helps but you've got to pinch some of the felt pieces to get them off the board and he loves making up stories, pictures,etc with the felt..... Oh and another one is the hidden pictures books.. You have to circle the object when you find it (alot of fun and some fine motor skills involved)..
And here's a website for fun craft projects. http://www.dltk-kids.com/ She's got tons of things to do with scissors that require no writing or coloring.. And has tons that you can color too! Hope this helps some....
I know it's discouraging but there are really tons of activities (other than writing and coloring) that will help with fine motor skills and I'm sure you'll come across one that she will be interested in! And as she builds the muscles and it's not so difficult for her to write/color, she'll start to do more of that too!
I can second Vicki's suggestions of dot-to-dots if your child likes doing them. When she can recognize and sequence larger numbers (up to about 50) I can recommend the Usborne Big Dot-to-dot Book and the Usborne Second Big Dot-to-dot Book. They both use high-quality paper (no bleedthru), and have a storyline the child can follow.
My 5yo also shows very little interest in drawing or coloring books. When he draws, he uses stick figures and isn't interested in putting in details or using colors. BUT... we just discovered that he can actually draw quite well if it's something he's interested in. He drew images of all our living room furniture and selected toys, cut them out, and arranged them as a sort of paper playhouse. I was surprised at how well it turned out, colors and details of all sorts. He'd never done it before, and I was surprised he was capable of it, so maybe if you could find something your daughter is really interested in and draw it, that might motivate her.
Thanks for the ideas! Those were all really great. I'll have to try some of those. She loves the "find the object" type pictures, so that one is something she might like to do. Also, she loves cutting stuff up with scissors.
I found a book once at the library called "Games for Learning". No idea who wrote or published it, but it was really good. There are many suggestions, the activities are simple, short (you don't have to read volumes to get to the info) and adaptable to a wide age range. The best thing I learned from it is that there's much more to skills like reading and writing than phonics, for example, and that there are short, fun activities that you can do anywhere that are all a part of learning the major skills. It reminds me of the kinds of things you would want to know to prevent a meltdown at the grocery store, but it tells you how it improves whichever skill for your child. There is an activity suggestion where you ask your child to close his or her eyes and tell you what color shirt you are wearing. It suggests that this sort of memory work is an important part of building the mind to be ready for other skills. A variation to that particular activity would be a "what's missing" game where you have objects organized, child closes eyes, and you remove something and they have to tell you what it was. I realize that these particular examples have nothing to do with fine motor skills, but I'm sure the book included many things related to that too.
All the above suggestions are great. Something else to consider about your daughter's fine motor delay, is how her trunk and shoulder strength have developed. For example, many kids who don't crawl end up having difficulty with coloring and writing as they get older. Things to look for with your daughter include whether she has the tendency to W-sit (ie. locking her hips so she doesn't have to use her pelvic muscles as much when sitting) which could be a sign of lower trunk weakness, and secondly, whether she can wheel barrow walk when you hold her legs off the ground. If the underlying problem is in the shoulders/trunk doing gymnastics, ball games, or having her push herself around on a board with wheels while on her stomach can also really help too.
My sister-in-law has used both play-doh and a pie tin filled with sand or corn meal to help stimulate the learning of letters and numbers through touch. With play-doh, she has the children form the letters and numbers, leading up to spelling words with the letters they have formed. With the pie tins, she has the children draw the letters and numbers, using their finger, in the sand or corn meal. Both seem to form a conection between the mind and the hand.