‘Fine motor skills’ refers to the development of small muscle movements of the hands. Fine motor skills develop as your child’s whole body gains mobility, stability, cognitive, and emotional/social development. Fine motor skills that come to mind are shoe tying, writing, and cutting paper with scissors.
Tips to Help You 36 – 42 Month Old Develop Fine Motor Skills
You can help with toddler developmental milestones. Suggested play to help a toddler 36 to 42 months of age develop fine motor skills:
- Dress the bear. Find some of your child’s old baby clothes that fit its teddy bear or another stuffed animal. Look for clothes with large buttons or snaps so your child can practice small finger work. Have your child dress his or her animal!
- Pick peas from a pod. Buy some fresh peapods. Show your child how to find the peas hiding inside the shell. He or she can put all the peas they can find into a bowl, then rinse them off and eat them.
- Decorate the sidewalk. Outdoor chalk is a fun way to use hand muscles. Or give your child a paint brush and a bucket of water. The painting will be fun and so will the magic of evaporation. “Where did your picture go?”
- Make more jewelry. Cut circles and flowers from colored paper, punching a hole in the center of each. Next, cut a large plastic soda straw into pieces. Let your child string a shoelace with alternating flowers, straw pieces, and circles. Your child may not always alternate the pieces, but that doesn’t matter. Tie the ends and he or she will have a beautiful necklace.