Your child’s increased cognitive development and fine motor skills will propel them in their adulthood.
If your child is under 15 years old, they are in the golden period of their life. The skills learned and the talents forged now, will last a lifetime.
We often tell our kids, that if you learn to ride your cycles early, you will go on to later ride your bike with ease and subsequently drive any vehicle better. You’ll know why by the end of this article!
What are Fine Motor Skills?
Fine motor skills are simply the use of limbs. These skills help your child be independent and carry out the simplest sensory and locomotive functions.
They combine with hand-eye reflexes and creative exploration to help children develop the ability to explore various physical feats.
With a slack in physical activity in the current generation, there is a good chance that the fine motor skills receive less initiation.
What is Cognitive Development?
“The first five years have so much to do with how the next eighty turn out.”
– Bill Gates
This is true in the case of brain development as well. Cognitive development is the building blocks of thought processing, memory, problem-solving and skill shaping. Put simply, it is a trigger to how adeptly your child can think and reason.
Having established the importance of fine motor skills and cognitive development for a healthy child, it is time to address the fact that, your children need these skills to survive in this increasingly demanding world.
Awareness and adaptability are truly the new currency.
How to improve Cognitive and fine motor abilities?
Fret not, moms & dads! You can do so much to encourage and thrust your children into adopting simple practices that sharpen the weapons in their skill set.
Following are a set of simple exercises that your kids can practice to improve fine motor skills and boost cognitive development:
1. Climb up and down staircases– Children are advised to climb up and down staircases. They can first take one step at a time, swinging their arms in a rhythmic motion. Slowly, they can begin to skip a few steps in the same rhythm.
This will increase their lower body mobility and also help their mind-body coordination.
2. Juggle palm-sized balls between their hands – Young kids up to the age of six are encouraged to juggle palm-sized balls between their hands.
This helps their eyes stay in sync with the movement of the ball and initiates higher sensory reflexes. They can improvise on this activity by walking or jumping on a mark while juggling the ball.
3. Routine jobs – Children under the age of four must be taught to do routine jobs like turning doorknobs, using a hair-comb and eating with cutlery from the very beginning.
By twisting and gripping these supplies, they learn to gain control of their hands and the strength needed to use and maneuver the same.
4. Draw, Cut & Paste – Kids can be asked to draw a circle or cross of varying widths with pencils and crayons onto a paper and then cut the same. These can be pasted onto another sheet of paper.
This simple activity helps in depth perception and freedom with the hands. It also helps them fine tune the smaller margins of errors with monotonous work.
5. Arrange, Dismantle, Rearrange – Lesser of an exercise than a playtime task, ask your kid to arrange a tower of blocks, dismantle it and rearrange the same.
This will help their hand and wrist control. It will also familiarise them with the concept of balance and weight.
6. Use Two Hands – As your child’s dexterity improves, encourage them to use both hands to do new tasks. Play games like The Itsy-Bitsy Spider to teach them how to work for their hands
in tandem. Or using games that incorporate hands-on learning like the TACtivities, will help them improve both, their motor skills and their cognitive development.
This engages the right and left side of the brain thus giving them increased avenues to explore.
7. Play Sports – Physical Activities like playing a sport is extremely crucial for your child’s development. From running to the ball and racquet games and even water sports, they increase the agility of the body as well as influence the mind positively.
It positively influences cognitive and emotional functions. Sports discipline also engages the restraint in the minds of young kids. The importance of tactics and a competitive streak can be beneficial to brain development.
Related reads: Can Playing Prepare Your Child to Face Life’s Challenges?
Attention, thinking, language, learning, and memory- these lay the foundation of any alert and capable person. All of the above can be sculpted to perfection in the young growing years of the child.
By inculcating simple exercises like the ones mentioned above in the child’s lifestyle, parents are not just looking at improved physical health, but also a sharper mind!