You’ve watched your child go from uncontrolled hand movements to bringing objects to the middle part of her body, and from picking up small objects to using a crayon to scribble. By this time, your little one has probably gained so much control over her small muscles that she is now learning to move with confidence. This a crucial time to refine her fine motor skills and to keep practicing them!
What can you expect?
- She will probably tie her shoelaces or is getting close to accomplishing this.
- She’ll use scissors with much more naturality.
- She might be able to “write” with a pencil, even if she doesn’t know any words yet. Her scribbles have improved a lot.
How can you support her hand coordination development?
- Let her open drawers when she is getting dressed. You might even ask her, as a favor, to bring you something from a drawer. Making her feel special and helpful.
- As you practice getting ready, ask her to help you out and pick up her clothes. This will foster muscle control, as well as her self-care and independence skills.
- By this time, she might be able to cut straight lines drawn on paper, so you can practice drawing some lines and then help her follow them using the scissors.
- She might not be able to write her name yet, but you can write it on a piece of paper and have her trace it over with different colors. She will be so excited to be writing!
- You can also encourage her to brush her teeth while you supervise or even practice it with her at the same time. Remember your little one loves imitating you! Plus, this can also be a great way to foster her hygiene and independence skills.
- She might not be able to tie her shoelaces yet, but you can model how to do it and practice it together.
- When eating, you can let her serve and pick her own food using safe utensils. This can contribute to her wrist rotation and finger control.
- Another activity that can foster these skills is to practice cutting and pasting pictures to make a collage. Make it a family activity and invite everyone to participate!
Many of your child’s motor skills are helping her develop future writing skills, which will also contribute to her language comprehension and production later on. It’s very important that when she accomplishes a new skill, she continues practicing it. When we leave our skills unused, our ability to perform some tasks can weaken. Don’t hesitate to practice hand coordination every day!
More on fine motor skills and language: Hand preference and language skills