Monday, January 22, 2018

Developing Motor Skills

Motor skills involve the function of muscle movements in the body. There are gross motor skills that use the large muscle groups and fine motor skills that use the smaller muscles in the hands, fingers, and forearms.
There are stages of motor development that are important for educators to know. Scholastic has a great article that will help you understand   The Ages & Stages: How Children Develop Motor Skills
By Susan A. Miller Ed.D., Ellen Booth Church, and Carla Poole.
Stage by Stage 0 - 2
Locomotion begins when a baby can turn onto her tummy and pull herself forward with her arms.
By eight months, babies may be grasping objects and pushing forward on their hands and knees.
One-year-olds, learning to stand unsupported, are gaining muscle control in their backs and legs.
Stage by Stage 3 - 4
Preschoolers love high-energy, outdoor activities.
Threes and 4s enjoy working with a variety of media as they exercise their fine motor skills.
Developing eye-hand coordination helps preschoolers fine-tune their creations.
Stage by Stage 5 - 6
Dramatic growth in the development of physical skills often takes place during the kindergarten year.
Five- and 6-year-olds' emerging physical abilities also increase their capacity to learn new cognitive skills. Games become more appealing to kindergartners as their physical skills become more finely tuned.
Puzzles are important for developing the skills.
Did you know that there are links between fine motor skills and achievement? You will find a summary of the research in this article: Fine motor skills and executive function both contribute to kindergarten achievement.
NAEYC provides us with a picture of what children learn in kindergarten. Motor skills are a part of physical development and very important to learning. We need to take time for developing these skills!