One of the fundamental skills that we encourage our children to develop early is their Fine Motor Skills. Getting ready to gear up for Back to School is on everyone’s mind, and this is one of the primary skills we hope to build with our child. Here’s a fun way to sneak a little bit of Literacy into your Fine Motor Skill Development.
We love using our Wooden Lacing Beads for several activities. They can help to build hand eye coordination, cognitive and visual perception skills too. Using Wooden Beads can be a fun and playful way to begin to build all of these skills. The process of putting the string through the small hole in a bead requires a child to focus and use muscles, to help to make them stronger. It’s these same skills that we will later ask them to use with handwriting and even more complex tasks like tying shoes or building with small Legos as they get older.
Finding ways to use toys in a variety of ways is a lot of fun and a space saver at home or in a classroom. We used our wooden beads to practicing lacing by colors, counting, by patterns and even by shapes. Many kids will enjoy doing this over and over again as they build up their Fine Motor Skills.
There will be times though that you want to change things up and use wooden beads in a fun new way. Here’s a favorite that your child will love, which requires some budget friendly supplies. Make your own Alphabet Beads Game! To play the Alphabet Bead Game first you need some big letters! We have a foam letter mat that has made its way through a few kids and Kindergarten class at our house. You can find them just about anywhere. You can also easily make your own letters by using scrapbook paper and tracing out the letters, and then using Contact Paper to put a protective layer on them for play. Also using items like Magnetic Wooden Letters, an alphabet puzzle, or even the Undersea Alphabet Soup Game Pool Toy will work with some smaller sized bead sets.
Once you’ve found your letters encourage your child to place the beads one by one onto the letter shape. It’s a fun way to build fine motor skills and also letter recognition at the same time. You can also encourage your child to place the beads onto the string and then form letters with them. As they are placing the string onto the outlines or each letter discuss how letter formations are straight, curved and slanted. All of these tasks will help to create visual clues and form the foundation for how your child will begin to recognize each letter. It will also help them understand how to begin writing each letter. Talk about the names of the letters, and the sounds they make too.
Working on fine motor skills and literacy skills using wooden beads and letter outlines is a fun way to kick of the school year with your child!
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Kim Vij is an early childhood educator and mom of three. She shares her “Educator’s Spin” on parenting issues and how to make everyday moments into learning opportunities at The Educators’ Spin On It and award winning Pinterest Boards.