Thanks to indoor living, children born today are much more likely to have underdeveloped motor skills compared to generations that have gone before. Weak motor skills can lead to problems in later life and generally get in the way of having fun. Running and jumping, climbing and riding a bike all require excellent motor skills to get right.
Take a look at these fun ways that you – as a parent – can help your child can improve his or her motor skills.
There’s a reason school playgrounds up and down the land are covered in hopscotch tracks: it’s amazing for coordination. Hopping and jumping together are a massive challenge, especially for children whose motor skills are not yet highly developed, but it’s also something that’s fun, especially among young girls.
The cool thing about hopscotch is that it’s really easy to change the pattern or increase the length of the hopscotch track. Try different patterns so that your kid is challenged.
Roll Down A Hill
When you were a kid, you probably tried rolling down a hill. We’re not talking about rolling down a 1,000 foot gorge, of course. Any gently sloping grassy bank will do. Practicing rolling, according to Understood, enables children to learn about the connection between their upper and lower body, and how they interact with each other.
Go To Dance Lessons
Local dance classes are a great way to introduce your child to the joy of movement. Often, our culture can be quite opposed to the freedom embodied in dance, so getting children into the habit while they’re young is essential. There are many different types of dance, but all of them require a child to master their movements and demonstrate fine motor control. You can sign your child up to tap, ballet, jazz, modern and worship dance styles.
Try Balancing Challenges
Keeping one’s balance is an important life skills, often forgotten in today’s frenetic world. Don’t start your child off on the tightrope straight away. Instead, slowly introduce them to less intimidating challenges. Place a rope or some stepping stones on the ground in the backyard and get them to walk across, trying not to touch the grass. Increase the difficulty over time to hone their skills.
Once they’re ready, you can take them to adventure playgrounds. Here they’ll find all sorts of places where they can practice their balance, like on wobbling bridges, tightropes and stepping stone stumps.
Play With Bubbles
Bubbles have a habit of moving almost randomly through the air, thanks to Brownian motion. And that makes them a great tool for teaching kids fine control and quick reactions.
Here’s an idea: go out to the garden with your child and start blow bubbles. Then get them to pop as many as they can with their hands. They’ll have to try to predict where the bubbles are headed as well as react fast when they change direction.
Playing with bubbles is a great way to improve hand-eye coordination, according to Understood, as well as motor skills in general.