4 ways to practice fine motor skills at home daily

Audric’s hard to engage. He’s not into legos or big bug magnets. I tried these plastic links too. These were great activities, but they didn’t work for us. We needed an activity that linked to a purpose.

Occupational therapists will generally suggest starting with gross motor tasks first like putting on clothes. We practice that too. Switching between tasks is good. And finding different ways to practice is even better.

Here are 4 purposeful ways to practice fine motor skills at home daily:

Velcro shoe straps. I got him shoes with velcro straps.

Marker caps. Put on marker caps.

Water bottles. Fill half way with your child’s beverage.

Video progress bar on tablet. Hold and pull left or right.

Tips for the parent:

Model and practice together in the beginning. You know when you’ve practiced enough to let your child practice on his/her own.

Then,

Give space and time to let your child problem solve. It’s so natural for us to jump in and help. Sometimes, I do it because I don’t want his frustration to escalate. But we all get frustrated and have to manage it, so this is a process.

Distract yourself and set a timer (secretly if you have to). It’s easier for me to find something else do while Audric’s figuring it out. I set a timer so I can see how far he got, and then him out.

Let it be fine the way it is. This is hard for me. When Audric dresses himself, he usually puts his clothes on backwards. I try to avoid fixing it, and sometimes I do fix it. But I celebrate him and his effort. If he got his shirt over his head instead of wearing it as a skirt, then we’re good.

Working with purposeful skills helps your child work on real things that legos, buggy magnets, and plastic links don’t. With more practice, it’ll get better. And these are intrinsically motivating.

Are you working on a fine motor skill at home? What’s another fine motor skills you can think of that can be practiced at home at least once a day? Leave a comment below.

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