Manipulating fasteners can be tricky work for little hands! A great way to help children strengthen their fine motor muscles is to provide activities that involve folding, sculpting, and manipulating clay and dough.
Not everyone is lucky enough to live near a beach, but you can bring the feel of beach sand to your backyard!
by Cora Tormaschy
As toddlers grow up, they often get used to adults doing everything for them, whether it’s zipping their coat or buttoning their shirt. Toddlers are curious by nature, and so you have probably noticed them watching you do these tasks that you don’t normally think twice about. For instance, I was watching my three-year-old niece trying to button her pajama top for the first time when I remembered that we all had to be taught how to do everyday tasks such as that one. It is easy to forget that little everyday tasks take A LOT of concentration and energy for little fingers, but it’s a very important stage of early learning and development.
Cardboard rolls make great pretend honeycombs! Create a honeycomb using cardboard tubes and paper clips. Recap what a honeycomb looks like. A honeycomb is group of wax cells with six sides inside a beehive, used to store honey or protect baby bees. A six-sided shape is called a hexagon. Explain to the children that you will be making honeycombs using sections of cardboard tubing. Here is a step-by-step picture tutorial of how to complete the activity.
Providers and parents are often nervous about introducing scissors to their children for fear it will encourage cutting things other than paper. (Visions of dolls and younger siblings come to mind). However, if children are allowed to practice using scissors in the correct environment, they are more likely to understand the purpose for scissors while leaving haircuts to the professionals. (It is important, of course, to remind children of appropriate items to cut or not cut.)