Activities To Help Toddlers Develop Motor Skills
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Do you find your kids, between 2-6 years, always ready to play and run around? That could be because this is the time when your child acquires and refines a lot of his/her motor skills1. Motor skills refer to synchronised coordination of nervous system (including the brain) with different parts of the body like hands, legs, etc. In other words, all movements are a part of motor skills.
While your child takes part in a lot of activities in his/her school, you can aid your kid’s motor skill development at home, too. Here’s how:
1. Outdoor Physical Activity
Organise a lot of outdoor physical activities like bike rides and hikes, rock climbing, dance classes, jumping rope, hula hoops, catching ball, frisbee-throwing etc. to help them with gross motor skills (large movements) development.
Encourage them to partake in extra-curricular activities such as gymnastics, tennis, badminton, table tennis, football, and volleyball or any other sports of their liking. These activities will help them improve their balance and hand-eye coordination.
3. Board Games
Indulge in activities such as Origami, drawing shapes and colouring with your child. Get them a tricycle and encourage them to ride it around the house. These activities will help develop and strengthen your child’s muscles and improve their hand-eye coordination.
4. Daily Tasks
A lot of daily tasks involve use of motor skills like eating with a spoon, pouring water in a glass, dressing, brushing teeth etc. Encourage them to be independent and let them perform these tasks on their own. Let them take their time and don’t try to rush them along.
5. Building Blocks
It allows children to develop and further improve their gross and fine motor skills. As they extend their limbs and bodies to grasp, pick, and move blocks, the muscles of their fingers, hands, and arms strengthen.
6. Stacking Toys
An extension of building blocks, stacking toys are also a good practice for gripping objects. Usually colourful, they come in different shapes and require stacking pieces of a particular shape and size. When kids are at the age of two, they start to comprehend shapes, so these toys can provide a different level of challenge to develop their fine motor skills and shape-size differentiation.
7. Tinkering Toys and Tool Sets
These toys require the child to twist, turn, pull and place objects in a hole, thus developing their fine motor skills. It makes them practice gripping and twisting, as they go about tinkering open-ended and preset projects with screws, fasteners, and bolts using either their bare hands or a tool, such as a wrench.
8. Do-It-Yourself Crafts
Toys made of recyclables, household items, and craft supply can also help in the development of your child’s motor skills. As the child works his/her way through the challenge – pushing, pulling, twisting, turning, poking, cutting, dropping, clipping, pinching, tying, stacking, buttoning, and flicking – their gross and fine motor skills are put to practice.
While colouring and drawing, children develop the correct pen and pencil grip they need for writing in their school years. So, crayons, non-toxic paint and brush sets, and colour pencils benefit young kids as their developing fingers learn to grasp these objects whilst drawing on colouring books and pads.
Puzzles are engaging and enjoyable toys for children to that helps them develop and refine their fine motor skills. When playing with puzzles, the child grips, lifts, and moves knobs, pegs or chunky objects sorting and pinching them to fit into a slot. There is a trial-and-error process, which entails hand-eye manipulation for the child to place the right object in the right slot.
Along with these activities, nutrition also plays an important role in the development of the motor skills. But given that kids are so picky about food, it can be difficult for you to get them to eat enough of everything, right? Well, adding Junior Horlicks# to their diet can help bridge the nutritional gaps since it contains nutrients like Choline, Iron, Iodine, etc., which are known to support brain development, as well as calcium, Vitamin D, vitamin K & Protein which are known to support physical growth and development. It also contains nutrients such as Vit E, A, selenium & copper to support healthy immune function.