Welcome to this year’s A to Z Challenge! This year I’m talking Child Care. I’ll be blogging topics related to my many years in the family home daycare profession. I hope you can find a tidbit of information that is useful in caring for children whether you’re a parent, grand or another important person in a child’s life. And to end each post, I’ll share a bit of my creative side/relaxation time. Taking time for yourself is good for your health–both yours and your family’s 😉
Fine motor skills are basically defined as movement of the small extremities; fingers, hands, feet, toes, tongue, and lips. For the purpose of Letter F, we’ll discuss Fingers. Since using the fingers begins around 3 to 6 months, you’ll want to offer them plenty of opportunities to grasp items. You’ll know when they’re putting fingers in their mouths that it is time to help them hold rattles, balls with grooves, and other teether-type toys. And if your baby is ahead of the norm, by all means give them what they can use to further their development within reason. This would definitely include a baby gym that allows them the batting of toys. And don’t forget soft, squishy or crinkly toys for texture exploration.
Surviving daycare life and encouraging fine motor skills is something that goes hand in hand. Self help is the ultimate goal as you are the one they are spending a huge chunk of their day with. By using the fingers they become adept at writing, holding silverware, not spilling drinks(we’ve already went over this one), and hopefully putting on their own shoes and/or coats. Each of these accomplishments is going to help both of you. They will gain self-esteem and you will have free hands of your own to help other children who are not yet advanced.
Busy boxes and bags are a good life-saver. (I’ll discuss this in more detail at Letter Q). For instance I recently purchased a set of tongs and pom poms. We spent a whole morning taking turns with these items along with a couple of muffin pans. It’s a wonderful opportunity to practice the grasping skills along with eye-hand coordination. No tongs? Let them try stuffing pom poms into holes cut in the lid of an old shoe box. Maybe you have a laundry basket with holes that may work as well. Even the simple task of grasping one pom pom at a time and transferring it from one basket to another will fill up quite a bit of time for your child. And if they’re multi-colored, ask them to sort them. Just look around, use your mom genes and you’ll find something that will fit the bill.
And let’s not forget the most important fine motor skill currently on our minds right now.
It takes lots of fine motor skill practice to learn hand washing practice enough to do this unobserved. Trust me. If you leave a 4 year old alone to wash their hands, I guarantee they will not wash for 20 seconds, much less get between the fingers and wash both sides of their hands. What they Will do is clap them (I suppose to see the soap fly?), try the Speedy Gonzales route (because they don’t want to miss out on something?), or forget to use the soap in the first place. Please, accompany your child to the restroom. This has to become the most vitally important step in our childrens day both with their caregivers and family. Our future and theirs will depend on it.
Some end-of-the-day crochet for your Tuesday for the April AtoZ. Displaying various Finishes on the edge of these examples. Great for baby’s bath, mom’s dishes and in the event you run out of paper towels, they can work. Scrubby yarn on the edges is gentle but exfoliates the skin or helps scrub the dishes. Multi-useful and if you’ve the materials and time this pandemic season, check out video tutorials on how to learn to crochet one of these. No time like the present. Every time I meet a new crocheter, I make sure to let them know there are never enough of us!