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Preschool activities and resources
Once children reach kindergarten, fine motor skills become instruments used for learning purposes, often through crafts. If a child's hands aren't ready to perform various movements efficiently, his body will "compensate" with inefficient postures and movements. Successfully accomplishing tasks with compensations is possible, but it requires a great deal of energy. Doing so not only makes the child less efficient, it can also lead to a lack of interest in manual tasks requiring tools such as crayons, scissors, and utensils. When a child accumulates many tasks that are too advanced for his body, motor compensations become habits that can be hard to get rid of.
Before entering kindergarten, presenting a wide range of games requiring various motor skills involving the entire body is pertinent. Think of games where the child's body is in contact with the floor or ground (crawling, rolling around, slithering). Postural control is a prerequisite of efficient fine motor skills. During summer months, take advantage of playground facilities (swinging, crossing monkey bars, climbing structures) to refine the way the child's body interacts with its environment. Explore several different playgrounds to offer a variety of challenges.
As an occupational therapist, here are my favorite fine motor skill activities, the ones I feel will lead to the biggest payoff if they are presented often before a child enters kindergarten.
Have fun preparing for kindergarten!
Josiane Caron SanthaOccupational therapist
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Pre-K program including educational games and activity planning with printable documents.
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