Having Fun with Your Child While Teaching Motor Skills

Parenting comes with lots of responsibility and worry so why not take some time to have fun with your child? If you are the parent of a young child you can combine parenting and having fun with taking time to help your child develop motor skills. Motor skills become crucial in the preschool years as young children prepare for the writing skills they will need later on. By doing lots of fun activities with your child you can help him or her develop their motor skills and bond with them at the same time. Studies show that children are much more likely to learn and grasp a concept if they are doing it through play. So here are some activities that will show you how to have fun with your child while developing motor skills-

Balloon painting-This activity is great for very young children who are just starting to develop motor skills. They will love this type of “coloring�.

What you will need:

Soft foam type balls
Balloons (an adult should blow these up … but not too full)
Containers for paint (large bowls or Styrofoam trays work great).
Water for clean-up.
Tempera or other water-based paint in the primary colors (red, yellow and blue).
Paint smocks or old shirts.
A newspaper covered area or the great outdoors.
Large pieces of paper (rolls of craft paper will come in very handy for this and other activities with little ones).

Instructions for the project: Place the primary paints in separate containers. Children can then dip the balloons or soft foam balls into the paint and smoosh down on a piece of paper. You can encourage color mixing on the paper by adding different colored smooshes on the paper. This can work quite well as an outdoor activity for large groups.

Filter Flowers-This activity will give kids the chance to work on their coloring skills and make a project at the same time.

What you will need:

Coffee Filters
Green Construction Paper
Pipe Cleaners
Spray bottle with clear water

Instructions for the project: Have each child take one filter and color brightly with markers. Encourage the kid’s creativity to draw whatever they want. After the coloring is completed, place each filter on a newspaper and spray the water directly onto filter. Have the children observe the colors mixing. When filter is completely dry, scrunch the middle of flower up and wrap pipe cleaner around it to make a stem. You can then have the kids cut out flower petals from construction paper and apply to pipe cleaner with Elmer’s glue.

Painting on a bar of soap-This coloring activity works to develop fine motor skills while giving the budding artist a sensory experience. Adult supervision is highly recommended with this activity.

What you will need:

a plastic tray to be used as a work space
a white bar of soap
a soap dish
a small watercolor brush
a primary tray of watercolors
an eye dropper
1/2 cup of water
paper towels

Instructions for the project: Place a bar of soap securely in a soap dish. (so that it doesn’t move around) Give each child a paint brush, a tray of primary watercolors (three colors to choose from, red, yellow and blue) an eye dropper, and a plastic container of about 1/2 cup of water. Have each child paint the bar of soap. Each time they want to change their design, show them how to use the eye dropper to rinse the paint off of the soap. A spray bottle might work nicely too. When the child finishes painting they can take the soap dish and soap to the sink and rinse it clean for the next person. Tips: Keep in mind that the soap makes the watercolor thicker than usual. An adult needs to be available to rinse the paint tray or wipe it occasionally with a sponge so that the colors remain vibrant. Children enjoy using the eye dropper which gives them great fine motor practice. Keep in mind though that some instruction and/or demonstration may be necessary to help the children learn how to use an eye dropper. You can also encourage the kids to try their hand at mixing colors using eye droppers and food coloring.