The power of play: developing fine motor skills

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning.  But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”  – Fred Rogers

When young children play, it may seem like they’re just horsing around, making a noise and creating a mess that you’ll have to tidy up later. In actual fact, they’re practising and perfecting essential skills for school and later life.

One of the most important benefits of play is that it gives kids a chance to develop their fine motor skills. These are movements involving the small muscles of the body that enable functions such as writing, grasping small objects, controlling cutlery, cutting with scissors, fastening buttons, tying shoelaces and opening a lunchbox.

While these everyday actions may seem simple, they can take years to master. The more your child plays, the more opportunity he or she has to perfect these skills. This not only prepares your little one for school, but also instils a sense of independence which is at the heart of growing up into a confident and capable young adult.

Less screen time, more play time

Young children who spend all afternoon in front of a television or tablet screen have less time for the types of activities that encourage fine motor development. Weaknesses in this area can affect a child’s ability to eat, groom themselves, dress themselves, write, turn pages in a book and use a computer.

Every moment spent playing is a valuable moment! Essentially, any game or activity that involves the use of fingers and hand-eye coordination will help to strengthen these much-needed skills.

Educational fun

Kids love getting involved in projects that exercise their creativity or keep their minds and hands busy. If you need some ideas, Tower kids has developed a wonderful range of activities that provide hours of fun while encouraging the development fine motor skills. From sand art and sparkle mosaics to felt puzzles, paint by numbers and 3-D wooden model kits – there’s something to captivate every kind of young mind. Each product has been tested to ensure the best quality and safety for your child.

Go ahead – hide the tablet, put the TV remote on a high shelf and get inspired here: