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Chapter 11 Fine Motor and Manipulatives“In an early care and education classroom, the fine motor and manipulatives area probably includes a larger variety of activities and materials than any other center.” ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Fine Motor and Manipulative Play DefinedFine motor movements are the small movements that occur in the hands, wrists, fingers, feet, toes, lips, and tongue The smaller actions involved in picking up objects between the thumb and finger, using a pencil to write carefully, holding a fork and using it to eat Fine motor skill is defined as the coordination of small muscle movements that occur in body parts such as the fingers, usually in coordination with the eyes ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Pre-Writing Hand SkillsPincer grasp: Using thumb and index finger to pick up an item Grasping and squeezing Bilateral coordination: Using both hands together to perform a task Eye-hand coordination: Focusing and coordinating eye movement and visual input to control and direct the hands Wrist rotation and wrist stability Finger dexterity: Ability to move individual fingers in isolation ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Infant & Toddler Fine Motor DevelopmentInfants Pre-reaching Newborn Mitten grasp 3-4 months Hand to hand 4-5 months Pincer grasp 9 months Toddlers Fills & Dumps Works simple puzzles Turns knobs and switches Flushes toilet Scribbles Points ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Preschool Fine Motor SkillsFeeding 2-3 years Uses spoon 3-4 years Serves self 4-5 years Uses fork 5-6 years Uses knife on soft food Dressing 2-3 years Puts on and removes Zips 3-4 years Buttons 4-5 years Dresses by self ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Other Preschool Skills2-3 years: Opens door, strings beads 3-4 years: Uses scissors, copies line and circle 4-5 years: Cuts on a line, copies triangle, cross and some letters 5-6 years: Ties shoes, draws six part person ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Primary-School-Aged Small Motor SkillsDramatic improvements with handwriting and ability to write in cursive letters Can draw complex and detailed pictures that incorporate depth cues and 3-D elements Become capable of detail-oriented craft projects involving beading, sewing, scrap booking, and building models Are good at using simple tools such as a hammer or a hand mixer Become skillful at playing games involving eye- hand coordination ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Planning and Preparing the EnvironmentFine motor skills are developed in many learning centers of the early childhood classroom Art Sensory Blocks Woodworking Dramatic play Library ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Manipulative Center Located in a quiet, uninterrupted areaIs well lit, preferably with natural light Contains low, open shelves for materials Includes labeled tubs or baskets to hold materials needed for a specific activity Provides both horizontal and vertical surfaces Contains a variety of engaging materials and high quality tools Contains materials for four to six children to have several choices each ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Materials to Build Fine Motor SkillsPlay dough with a pizza cutter and mini rolling pin Spin tops Locks and keys Hole punches Wind-up toys Peg games Tweezers Tongs Squeeze balls Squeeze squirters Chinese yo-yo’s Putty or dough with beads and buttons Puzzles These materials do not include pencils and worksheets! ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
More Fine Motor MaterialsLegos® Colored cubes Interlocking links Parquetry blocks Cuisenaire rods Lacing cards Alphabet bingo Card games Board games ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Fine Motor Play for InfantsUse a pincer grasp to take objects out and put them in a container Poke a button that causes something to pop-up or spin Fill a bucket with toys or soft blocks to reach in and take out and then place back in the bucket Make shape sorters from recycled containers with plastic lids Fill a recycled wipe container with scarves to pull out Give older infants a thick crayon to scribble with, or a stubby brush to paint with ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Fine Motor Play for ToddlersBuild a tower with up to six blocks Press together manipulative pieces String big beads on a thick shoelace Lift and turn pages of thick board books Use crayons to color and draw Paint with nontoxic shaving cream Paint with brushes or fingers Introduce low easels to provide a vertical surface for making marks ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Fine Motor Play for PreschoolersChildren should have strength and dexterity in their hands and fingers before being asked to manipulate a pencil on paper Working on dexterity and strength can eliminate the development of an inappropriate pencil grasp Becoming more commonplace as children are engaged in writing experiences before their hands are ready Use manipulatives, implements, and tools found in various learning centers to support fine motor development ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Manipulative Center PlayTurn over cards, coins, checkers, or buttons without bringing them to the edge of the table Pick out small objects from a tray of sand Play connect the dots Encourage children to connect dots from left to right and from top to bottom Trace around stencils Use small-sized screwdrivers Tie knots in string Pick up cotton balls or small pieces of fabric with clothespins ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Cross Midline for Brain DevelopmentEncourage reaching across the body for materials with each hand You may need to engage the other hand in an activity to prevent child from switching hands at midline Refrain from discouraging a child from using the left hand for any activity Allow the natural development of hand dominance by presenting activities at midline and allowing the child to choose ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Cross Midline for Brain DevelopmentStart making the child aware of the left and right sides of his or her body through spontaneous comments such as “kick the ball with your right leg” Play imitation posture games such as “Simon Says” with across the body movements When painting at an easel, encourage the child to paint a continuous line across the entire paper and also from diagonal to diagonal ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Hand Skill DevelopmentEncourage appropriate hand skill development Minimize passive entertainment usage such as video games as these do not build efficient pencil grasp patterns ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Vertical Surface and Fine Motor DevelopmentA vertical surface is the natural and preferred plane to play for young children Best supports hand skill development of young children in three ways Engages the shoulder against gravity, which promotes the development of the hand and arm for writing Encourages an extended wrist position needed for writing Most appropriate visually for young children ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Vertical Surfaces & ActivitiesChalkboard Shaving Cream Easel Magnadoodle Paper on wall Magnets Table tipped on its side Velcro matching games Coloring Painting Stamping Water painting Play Dough Chalk ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Rip, Snip, Cut Sequence for scissor skill developmentMastery of the each step will lead to improved scissor use for complex patterns in the long run Rip: Start with ripping paper (use scraps for mosaic art projects) Snip: Use scissors to snip play dough, straws, grass, index cards Cut: Cut along short (1 inch) bolded straight lines on strips of thick paper progressing gradually to longer, thinner straight lines on thinner types of paper ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Rip, Snip, Cut Practice cutting along curves with paper plates after straight lines are mastered Cutting on angles is usually performed competently by 1st or 2nd grade. Adopted from ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Fine Motor Play for Primary-School-Aged ChildrenTear tissue paper into strips by placing both hands on the top of each sheet and pulling in opposite directions Once the sheet of tissue is in strips, have the child try to crumple it into a ball using just the fingers of one hand Have the children practice drawing a line from the top to the bottom of a large piece of paper taped to a vertical surface such as an easel or wall ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Fine Motor Play for Primary-School-Aged Children (continued)Move small items from one container to another using tweezers or a clothespin Include materials such as peg boards, lacing cards and Legos® in your manipulative center In your writing center, provide the children with a variety of stencils to trace and implements of various sizes ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Fine Motor Art Play for Primary Aged ChildrenHave the children use their fingers to make their artistic creations in finger paint After finishing, place a piece of construction paper of a different color than the paint over the child’s work Have the child press the paper down and pull up a print of the painting Give them a sponge to wipe away the paint left on the table in a side to side motion, encouraging them to use their arms and wrists while keeping their shoulder still ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Fine Motor Sensory PlayMold and roll play dough into balls using the palms of the hands facing each other and with fingers curled slightly toward the palm Or roll play dough into tiny balls using only the finger tips Use pegs or toothpicks to make designs in play dough Cut play dough with a plastic knife or pizza wheel by holding in a diagonal grasp ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Fine Motor Sensory Play (continued)Scrunch up one sheet of newspaper in one hand Use a plant sprayer to spray plants or spray shaving cream with food coloring and water Catch bubbles between hands by clapping Draw in wet sand, salt, rice, or “goop” Reach for objects under water Pour water or sand from one container to another Use a turkey baster in water play ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Using Art to Develop Fine Motor SkillsTear newspaper into strips and then crumple them into balls Use eye droppers in colored water for color mixing or to make artistic designs on paper or coffee filters Spray paintings with water in a small spray bottle to create a “rained on” effect Use spray bottles to paint a mural on butcher paper attached to the wall outside ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Using Art to Develop Fine Motor Skills (continued)Paint at an easel Roll small balls of tissue paper and glue them onto construction paper to form pictures or designs Tear and glue colored tissue to create a “stained glass window” on waxed paper Make pictures using stickers or self-sticking paper reinforcements ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Fine Motor in Dramatic PlayPlay games with the “puppet fingers” The thumb, index, and middle fingers Put on dress up clothes using buttons, zippers, and snaps Use puppets to act out stories Stir pretend food while cooking Pick up and hold pots and pans to “cook” ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Using Manipulatives in MathDistinguishing patterns Recognizing geometric shapes Measuring Exploring and describing spatial relationships Communicating mathematical ideas effectively Identifying and describing different types of symmetry Developing and using spatial memory Learning about and experimenting with transformations Engaging in problem solving ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Diversity in Fine Motor and Manipulative PlayMulticultural materials Nesting dolls from Russia Worry dolls from Guatemala Fans and chopsticks from Japan Molcajete from Mexico Mancala game from Africa Multicultural activities Make stamped cookies from Sweden or Belgium Make cascarones out of egg shells and confetti to break on people’s heads at carnival time Make origami sculptures ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Supporting Each and Every Child’s SuccessEncourage children to attempt buttons, zippers, and snaps, giving them only as much assistance as needed Block distractions by placing the manipulative table facing a shelf or make partitions out of laminated file folders or three-section display boards cut in half Define play spaces by putting materials on individual trays, cookie sheets, tubs or small throw rugs on the floor ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Supporting Each and Every Child’s Success (continued)Create a nonslip workspace by putting down rubbery shelf liner material Provide a small container to put manipulative pieces in next to the puzzle or game while working to decrease clutter Use manipulatives on the floor and well as the table ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Creating Partnerships with FamiliesThere are lots of activities parents can do at home to develop their child’s fine motor skills using common household items Sorting socks Tearing paper Cutting with scissors Tracing Stapling paper Punching holes Wringing out sponges Sewing and lacing Stringing beads Performing finger plays Clapping ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
The Teacher’s Role Teachers build the foundation required to help children become proficient in fine motor skills, which are needed for proper growth Important for teachers to create activities that captivate children’s interest and keep them engaged in learning ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Guidance Guidelines Start with simpler fine motor activities to build strength in the fingers and wrists while developing eye-hand coordination It is important for teachers to remember that development takes place at different times in children Patience, understanding, and positive reinforcement help when developing fine motor skills ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Guidance Guidelines (continued)Allowing children access to manipulative materials at all times during child initiated play encourages them to be creative They will be able to practice fine motor skill development without having to follow a guided activity ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Teaching Tips Offer a range of opportunities to practice developing fine motor skills Use various of materials for drawing, painting, and writing Break fine motor skills into sequenced steps Explicitly teach a new skill Built skills on the previously mastered skills ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
Model Appropriate LanguageTalk about what you are doing as you demonstrate new skills Positively recognize effort “You were very careful when you cut around the circle.” Discuss how to do tasks “Put the scissors on the edge of the paper.” Sequence the action through descriptive language “Hold the scissors in your cutting hand, open them, put them on top of the cutting line, close them.” (Adapted from .) ©2015 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved.
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