Summer is finally here. For many kids, this is the best time of year, since they get a break from school and plenty of time to enjoy the nice weather and play outside. Spending time outdoors in the summer isn’t just fun for children; it can also help their development in various ways, according to a 2017 study published in the Porto Biomedical Journal.
In addition to getting exercise and fresh air, kids can hone their fine motor skills by playing outside. Fine motor skills involve small coordinated movements of finger and hand muscles. These skills are necessary to successfully complete daily activities like eating, dressing, coloring, and more.
If you’d like to help your children strengthen their fine motor skills this summer, here are some activities that are both entertaining and good for their development.
1. Spray bottle race. For this activity, you’ll want to put a large container outside and fill half of it with water. Next, put some floating bathtub toys in the water. Fill up some spray bottles and spritz water at the toys to get them to move. Kids can make the toys race across the container. This helps with fine motor coordination and hand strength.
2. Playing at the park. This is a classic summertime pastime. Go to the park and hang/swing from the monkey bars, climb up and down ladders, and pull/push/turn knobs on other play structures. This helps kids get stronger hands and develop fine motor coordination, in addition to having fun.
3. Creating sidewalk chalk art. All you need for hours of outdoor entertainment is some chalk and a stretch of sidewalk to draw on. Kids can improve their motor skills by creating different designs like shapes, mazes, lily pads, and more.
4. Painting with dirt. Plenty of kids love playing in the mud, and “painting” with it can be a great way to boost fine motor skills, according to Scholastic. Gather some paper and a watercolor paint brush and head outside to mix some dirt and water. Children can use the natural paint to make all kinds of pictures.
5. Spelling it out with stick and stones. Sticks and stones don’t only break bones; they can also assist kids in developing their motor skills, Scholastic states. Gather a variety of twigs/sticks and small rocks and use them to form letters with your child. Kids can spell out their own names or other words and messages.
Activities like these will help children enjoy their summer vacation while also strengthening important skills necessary for day-to-day life. If you’d like to learn more about motor skill development or are concerned that your child might have issues with their motor skills, our pediatric occupational therapists can answer any questions you might have. Our team of pediatric professionals loves kids and offers high-quality therapy services focused on helping children achieve independence in all areas of their lives. For more information, please contact us by calling 847-707-6744 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.