It's easy to overlook the importance of building fine motor development in children. After all, there is so much academic information they need right?! Yes there is much to learn academically, but a foundation of strong motor skills is equally important. How can you learn to hold a pencil, get dressed, string beads, play on a computer, catch a ball, or pour water into a cup if the muscles in the hands and fingers aren't given opportunities to practice. This week we worked on fine motor skills by using tongs in the water table and separating bears by color (a math skill.) Students also used their fingers to sort lentil beans and kidney beans (again incorporating several learning areas like math and motor skills.)
We started the week with tearing paper strips into tiny bits (and your child may have proudly showed you an envelope full of torn paper to show off their strong fingers!) Then we moved onto holding scissors and cutting in a straight line. Everyone found success in this activity even if meant switching hands when one got tired, learning to rotate the paper for better maneuvering, or using a different style of scissor.
Always in our outside environment there is time to explore and exercise motor skills. In the water table students enjoyed screwing lids on and off of recycled ice cream containers. The containers were perfect vessels to hold specially chosen shells which were then "delivered" by bike to other students playing around the courtyard.
Back inside the classroom students were thrilled to have a week working on trains. We've enjoyed building tracks and planning out routes as well as finding pride in the train cars assembled so carefully and uniquely.