It’s an observation that children learn more when they are having fun. Almost in any play situation, they seem to be able to concentrate more and behave better.
As a parent we need to understand the many kinds of activities that help the children learn. The best thing we as a parent can do is to continue our normal routines and just incorporate the learning into doing eg. taking advantage of snack or lunch time to teach or review basic concepts.There are so many things that children can learn related to food, you can talk about the shapes, the colours, sizes, texture of food etc.
Toddler phase is one of the most important phase for learning as 70% of brain development happens in this stage. The Children who are exposed more to playful learning retain more and learn more new things faster. Small and Gross muscle development is very important at this age. Children need lots of practice with arm and hand muscle control before they can learn to hold a pencil correctly inorder to be able to write.
Thumb and Index finger, play a vital role in holding a pencil so its important to develop these muscles. B & B’s school, The Gurukul, here in Panchkula shared few activities with parents that are carried in schools but also encouraged the parents to do so at homes.
Following are the few activities that I came to know through school and few came to know from my paediatric friend . These fun filled activities would help children learn colours, shapes as well as help in developing finger muscles to aid in writing .
Activities for Pre-Writing Skill development in Toddlers
1. Fun with Colours
Kids are always fascinated by colours especially bright and vibrant ones. You can ask them their favourite fruit, vegetable or animal, bird etc. Draw the outline of their favourite fruit or animal and give a free hand to paint. Initially don’t give brush or crayons, let them use their fingers, thumb or entire palm to paint it. You can show them how to do it by using only thumb or fingers.
- Thumb Painting
Benefits of this activity :
- Improves fine motor developmental, strengthens finger and hand muscles.
- Good for sensory integration
2. Tear and Paste Activity
Another interesting activity is tear and paste . You can draw the outline of your kid’s favourite fruit, flower, toy anything that excites them, then ask to tear newspaper into small bits and paste inside the outlined structure. Later on, after some practice you can also use glittered or coloured paper for a better final product.
Benefits of this activity
- Develop thumb and index finger muscles especially
- Teach them size as small and big pieces
- Learn colours when they use coloured paper for pasting
3. Stringing Fun
This activity should be under the supervision of Adults because of the involvement of beads that a child can swallow and get choked. You can use colourful beads to create excitement among your little ones.
Benefits of this activity
- Colour recognition
- Helps in fine motor skill development
- Hand – Eye co-ordination
Children love squeezing, they love to mess around with things. This activity helps in developing hand muscles as well as finger muscles.You can provide them with playdough to squeeze and use their imagination to make whatever they like. Or else can aid them with few squeezing tools to add more fun to it like citrus squeezers, water guns, glue bottles etc.
- Squeeze Playdough
- As fingers get stronger, squeeze water using pipettes
- Squeeze lemons and make lemonade by using citrus squeezers
- Squeeze glue bottles to make crafts or can do Tear & Paste activity.
Apart from developing finger and hand muscles , these activities also help in cognition development. Further it strengthens grip and does not cause any stress to tender, tiny muscles.