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fine motor -- control and strenght -- preschool

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
ok my 4 yo is behind, by any standard, in fine motor and in strenght with regard to "useing fine motor" (like cutting, making a line etc).

he CAN hold a crayon / pen correctly when reminded (or mostly correctly -- he tries to hold it 100% straight up and down) but when he does he can't make any real mark (strenght).

he can't really cut well and can not cut along a line or anything.

we do a lot of coloring, i remeind him to hold the crayon correctly some but not enough to fusturat him.

we play playdough a lot. i THOUGHT was supposed to help???

I am not sure what else to try.

thoughts?
post #2 of 22
My almost 5yo dd is the same way. I'm not too worried yet though as she always has brought up the rear of her age group as far as milestone stuff, and technically if a child is writing by their K year it's considered a plus and if their not they're going to focus on it in K anyway.

Ok, for fine motor activities we usually do lacing/sorting/pouring beads, also try having your child transfer beads with a tweezer, writing in shaving cream, play-doh... Have you checked out some of the pre-k stuff handwriting without tears has to offer? There are also lots of suggestions here.
post #3 of 22
My son just turned 4 in January and I was having issues with him cutting, etc. I ended up making him his own little box with strips of paper and his scissors and let him have at it. If he wanted to cut it into little tiny pieces, go for it! If he wanted to make fringes on the edge, go for it! He got much better over time and now loves to do these worksheets: http://www.akidsmath.com/prek/cutpastersquare1.html.

I think he likes using them because they have dotted lines for him to follow. They have other shapes for them to work on, too.

I don't really have a lot of input on the handwriting/crayon part. My son writes legibly for a 4 year-old, but he still has to be reminded once in a while for his grip, too. I think it will come with practice and maturity. Do you have an easel? Writing/drawing on an easel builds all the muscles necessary for handwriting, too.

HTH!
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
thanks.

I don't expect him to be able to write -- he is always at teh tail end of milestones and has SN too -- and actually holding the crayon 'wrong" he can write his name (big but it is all the right letters).

I guess i don't worry so much about where he is NOW as much as the "if we don't do something he won't progress then someday we will be in a bad place" you know?

thanks for the links.
post #5 of 22
I found this article written by an OT the other day... DD seems to have weak hands relative to most children her age - can't open bottles, flip switches, etc., that other little ones do with ease... Anyway, I found it interesting & reassuring! I'm going to go back through and switch out some of her art supplies for bigger/wider versions, and try to get her to use her easel more, rather than working at the table... And I need to look for some good tongs, etc., for transfer activities.

Another idea - I know my sister also eventually switched out the playdough for clay and then something called "theraputty" (I think) to help her son strengthen his hands - stiffer, more resistance, requires more work.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
thanks guys -- i will have to read that PDF file.
post #7 of 22
I went through the same thing with my ds, who is now 5.5 and can write badly. Good enough for 5.5. But when he was 4, the hand strength was just pathetic. He could barely make a mark. It was an EXTREME difference from the typically-developing kids in his preschool class.

While ds did have OT and that definitely helped, the MOST helpful things for us were 1) time and 2) working through the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum and 3) starting to use the computer keyboard and mouse, which got him some valuable practice with small, precise hand movements. But really, the simple passage of time helped soooo much. His hand strength improved dramatically as he grew.
post #8 of 22
How are his gross motor skills? I have read working on gross motor skills will also transfer to small motor skills. Kids need a store core to develop the smaller muscles.

A few ideas for the small motor skills I haven't seen mentioned yet:
crab walking
wheel barrow walking
tearing paper
play dough, graduating to harder clays
building with legos (if legos are to hard try duplo)
peg boards or light bright type toys
matching nuts and bolts
puzzles
working on self help skills (buttons, zippers, making sandwiches, twisting off caps )
post #9 of 22
My 5.5 ds definitely has fine motor (and some gross motor) issues. These are two awesome resources. I have both. You will not run out of ideas with these.

Specifically for fine motor:
Activities for Fine Motor Skills Development

Even though the book is intended for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder, it is a collection of some of the best preschool and up activities I've seen (and I have a LOT of such books). Any kid would have fun with these. As a pp mentioned, gross motor development helps fine motor development (oh, if I only knew then, what I know now...).
The Out of Sync Child Has Fun

Also a big for HWOT (with all the extras) when you are ready for handwriting stuff. The extras and the teacher's guide totally make the program. Otherwise, it's just another handwriting workbook. Big whoop.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meetoo View Post
How are his gross motor skills? I have read working on gross motor skills will also transfer to small motor skills. Kids need a store core to develop the smaller muscles.

A few ideas for the small motor skills I haven't seen mentioned yet:
crab walking
wheel barrow walking
tearing paper
play dough, graduating to harder clays
building with legos (if legos are to hard try duplo)
peg boards or light bright type toys
matching nuts and bolts
puzzles
working on self help skills (buttons, zippers, making sandwiches, twisting off caps )
He can NOT do buttons

I think his gross motot is ok.

I want to get him some big, clean, nuts and bolts -- meant to for Christmas and did not. Good idea.

We have a laceing board toy -- he doesn't like, i think it is hard for him.

Quote:
Even though the book is intended for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder, it is a collection of some of the best preschool and up activities I've seen (and I have a LOT of such books). Any kid would have fun with these. As a pp mentioned, gross motor development helps fine motor development (oh, if I only knew then, what I know now...).
The Out of Sync Child Has Fun
I had forgotten about this resource. Big Brother , we think, has SPD -- no offical Dx yet. I have in the past got great ideas here -- thanks for the timely reminder.
post #11 of 22
Aside from everything else that's been suggested, have you considered letting him use markers to draw? They require much less strength.

My daughter, who does not have any type of motor delays, found crayons and colored pencils frustrating until she was at least 4 1/2.

Markers were much easier for her to use, and I'm sure that her successful experiences with markers encouraged her to keep using them, thus developing her motor skills to the point where she could use crayons and colored pencils successfully.
post #12 of 22
My 4 yo (almost 5) is the same way. His 2 yo brother has better fine motor skills than he does. Because he's sandwiched between two perfectionist-types who love details and do things carefully, I figure the 4 yo is just a different kind of personality. He has no other developmental delays. Truthfully, I think he just doesn't care a whit about the things that require this type of work. He *can* do it. It just doesn't please him to do it, and he'd rather be crawling under the couch or standing on his head.

It's only in the last couple of months that things have improved. He still has trouble using scissors. Can't seem to keep his hand turned the right way, but always turns it, and the scissors, upside down???? But he's gone from half-hearted scribbling for 30 seconds when I asked him to draw, to occasionally writing legible letters, so I'm happy. It took several months, and we only did maybe 10 minutes a day of practice on that.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Big brother loves to color and is imporving at coloring where he wants to -- but not with a correct hold -- only with an fist grip.

he can also make some letters -- adn the first 4 letters of his name -- again with the first grip

we have a ton of trouble keeping the THUMB UP with sissiors and cutting not tearing.
post #14 of 22
my big thing to say is not to worry about how he holds his pencil! I come from a long line of people not holding their pencils right. My grandpa was a lefty but was forced to write with his right hand, so now he's sorta right handed and totally illegible. I was constantly badgered for how I held my pencil. Never changed how I held it, either.

Also my son, who doesn't have those issues but is someone resistant to writing, uses the 'fist grip'. I think it's good practice to build up his strength. He may not have the individual finger strength you want, but he does have enough arm strength to 'fist out' the letters. That's still good practice, IMHO.

Why not just have a time of seeing how everyone else holds their pencil? Some put their fingers close to the end of the pencil, all fingers around it, some curl their fingers around the pencil with 1,2,or 3 fingers around it on top.......the right way may not be at all right for him, and there's a lot of natural variation, I've found.
post #15 of 22
My 4yr old has a similiar issue. He is in OT for sensory processing and hand strength is something we're working on - along with lots of other things :-) His hands are pretty weak - he can hold writing utensils correctly, but would rather fist them, he needs frequent reminders to use a fork at dinner (little brother is still learning to self feed, which doesn't help), and he struggles with buttons, zippers, etc.

My kiddo dislikes anything that looks like "school", so the OT and I have had to be a bit sneaky - but we are seeing progress:

Just today I was in Home Depot and bought 2 6 inch carriage bolts and a handful of hex nuts. Screwing them on and off has been a hit.

Pounding golf tees into stiff modeling clay with a wooden mallet. (Setting the tee works on his fingers, the nailing is good "heavy work")

Hunting for small objects - like plastic math manipulatives - in stiff modeling clay. (Play-doh is great, but it doesn't offer much resistance)

We have a Kumon cutting workbook, which he likes OK. I try to do 1-2 pages at a sitting, every 3-4 days, so he doesn't get sick of it.

As others have suggested, fine motor and gross motor work together, so continued attention to gross motor will help too: working at an easel, finger painting with shaving cream on a glass door then using the garden hose to clean off said door, etc.
post #16 of 22

Thanks

I love all of these responses. I have girls but I think I will get some nuts and bolts and do the tweezer and bean idea. They are always told they can't touch my tweezers and this will be great for them. I think with this sort of concern it just takes time. I wish I could find tiny markers like the crayons fron HWTears. I think chalk and chalk boards is good. My kids still won't do enough with the play dough. I expect snakes and balls but it is mostly pancakes and cookies. I let them cut it with scissors though.
Philia
post #17 of 22

tiny markers

Let me know if you see any. I know about the short crayola but I want tiny.
Philia
post #18 of 22
my son was having issues as well....some things that helped A LOT....

handwriting without tears (pre k)...i only bought the workbook and teachers manual, not all the other stuff.....

i got scissors that are blue on one side and red on the other....taught him that blue/thumb always on top, red on bottom...helped him get the hang of it much better....

the kumon CUTTING workbook did WONDERS....i'd have him do one page per day....nice/fun/colorful pages and thicker lines to cut on that only take a few minutes....after he was done with the book (just finished about a week ago) he was a very good and confident cutter. the pages get a little harder as you go, but he was able to do them since he was getting practice every day by that point.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maybemom05 View Post
My 4yr old has a similiar issue. He is in OT for sensory processing and hand strength is something we're working on - along with lots of other things :-) His hands are pretty weak - he can hold writing utensils correctly, but would rather fist them, he needs frequent reminders to use a fork at dinner (little brother is still learning to self feed, which doesn't help), and he struggles with buttons, zippers, etc. http://scribinglife.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/lent-day-2

Big brother can not do a zipper or buttons, i don't know it is it OT issues or jsut he has yet to learn -- this age is so duffcult that way. !!! He has OT assessment today via the school for his IEP

My kiddo dislikes anything that looks like "school", so the OT and I have had to be a bit sneaky - but we are seeing progress:

Just today I was in Home Depot and bought 2 6 inch carriage bolts and a handful of hex nuts. Screwing them on and off has been a hit.
This is on my list.

Pounding golf tees into stiff modeling clay with a wooden mallet. (Setting the tee works on his fingers, the nailing is good "heavy work") ...

i need to get some of this -- he needs heave work too but he gets a bit wild with a mallet

Hunting for small objects - like plastic math manipulatives - in stiff modeling clay. (Play-doh is great, but it doesn't offer much resistance)

we do this with playdough, but yes it is too soft. i need to get clay.

We have a Kumon cutting workbook, which he likes OK. I try to do 1-2 pages at a sitting, every 3-4 days, so he doesn't get sick of it.

As others have suggested, fine motor and gross motor work together, so continued attention to gross motor will help too: working at an easel, finger painting with shaving cream on a glass door then using the garden hose to clean off said door, etc.
thanks
post #20 of 22
Just to provide you with a data point, my daughter, who has no delays at all, just learned to zip her own jacket this week, at 5 years, 3 months.

I never tried to teach her, because I figured she'd ask for help learning when she was ready. It seemed like a hard skill to me- I still mess it up, and I'm not a kid!

I don't think she can do buttons, though she can do snaps. She writes and draws well, cuts accurately, etc.
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