Your two-year-old may have just started enthusiastically running; jumping and even saying “No!” to just about every question you pose. While running and jumping are good for their development it is also important to recognize the need for fine motor skill development. This is especially true for young boys who tend to have difficulty sitting still to color. Experts say that at this age children can start participating in activities that will help them develop fine motor skills. Fine motor skills include precise thumb, finger, hand, and wrist movements that are practiced through tracing, scribbling, painting, cutting and pasting and most especially coloring. Often parents overlook the need to help their children develop their fine motor skills. At about two years old parents can be enjoying reading to their toddlers and playing ball at the park. These activities will help develop their child’s vocabulary, hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills; but it is also important to take some time at this age to do crafts together to help develop their fine motor skills.
At the age of two most children will become delighted to start coloring (as opposed to earlier attempts at just scribbling). They will feel a sense of accomplishment at being able to hold a crayon and draw and color the shapes and images they want to create. It is important to understand though that two-year olds have notoriously short attention spans and can become easily frustrated. It is important to plan activities that will challenge them for a short amount of time but also have a satisfactory result. In order to build your child’s confidence it may help to determine what the more complicated skills are then break them down into attainable steps for your child. This will gradually build your child’s confidence in tackling the more advanced stages of motor skills. Keep in mind that you do not want to push them; only help prepare them so that down the road, they will be able to use a pencil with ease. Here are some ideas for helping your two-year develop fine motor skills.
Coloring-As mentioned above most two-year olds will begin to be delighted by the world of coloring. Keep in mind that most two-year olds cannot sit still for very long. Try the following ways to keep them interested in coloring if your child seems bored by the conventional crayons and coloring books.
1. Invest in an easel. Art and toy stores now have child-sized easels. Your budding artist/writer may be more likely to spend time in front of her easel drawing then simply sitting in a chair.
2. Try computer coloring. While many people feel that this is not really coloring, your two-year old may be delighted at the simple click and point action of many online coloring games. One of the benefits is that this helps develop motor skills along with eye-hand coordination.
Cutting-Your two-year old may begin to be fascinated by cutting with scissors. Cutting with scissors can also help with the development of motor skills. Just be sure that you have only child-proof scissors for their use.
1. Trace some cutting lines. If you can get your two-year old to give up simply random cutting. Try tracing some thick black lines for them to cut on. You can also have them cut fringe from a piece of paper, cut the corners off of paper and cut a variety of different kinds of lines.
2. Involve clay in the cutting. Many kids love the idea of cutting clay. Roll the clay out flat or in a long roll and have the kids practice cutting. Gathering the clay up and reshaping it also helps with those developing motor skills as well.