Inclusive Nursery Environments
Why Should Fine Motor Skills Be Developed?
All children are gifted with great, often unexpected, abilities. By creating a safe space and providing the necessary good quality materials, adults give children a perfect environment to reveal their gifts. Fine motor skills require calmness and concentration. With calmness and concentration children are able to refine their drawing, understand their art, its dimensions and spatial positioning, and any writing involved. By developing fine motor skills through play and games, we create a challenge that children will want to engage with and repeat. This is crucial as repetition is the source of perfection.
With the acquisition of motor skills, possibilities for exploration of the environment develop further with every passing moment. Every baby has a unique personality, that will develop at their own individual pace. The Canadian method of ‘comfort, play, teach’ is a great technique to stimulate children who appear to show little interest.
Magnetic Mazes allow the children to learn to direct marbles with the magnetic pencil to reach objects set by the game card.
How can we help children progress their fine motor skills?
Every child develops at their own pace. However, you can encourage the development of motor skills through small gestures on a daily basis. Parents should let children prepare their equipment and participate in tasks at home like they would at nursery.
For example, a small workshop could be created at home with materials such as salt paste or colourful modelling clay. During the workshop it is crucial that the child is an active participant, putting forward ideas on how the materials could be used, and consequently using them in a creative way. The younger the child, the larger their support must be. Useful materials for a young child for example could be a sheet of paper, a puzzle piece or a collection of buttons. These objects a more appropriate for a younger age group as their purpose is not precise.
“The card holder is a valuable tool for dyspraxic children or who struggle with motor difficulties. It allows them to play with their friends without fear of their cards sliding or falling. This allows them to focus on the game at hand.” – Leni Cassagnettes, Special assistance teacher and blogger as Maîtresseuh
What is most essential, at every stage of the learning process, is that children are accompanied, offered help when needed, and encouraged in their efforts.
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