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What Are the Best Tips for Developing Motor Skills in Preschool?

By Jacob Queen
Updated May 17, 2024
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To some extent, kids will improve their motor skills in preschool without any aid from their parents, but there are some things that parents can do to better prepare them for their school years and help in avoiding some major problems. Ideally, preschool-age children will generally benefit from plenty of outdoor activity and exposure to physical games involving hopping, running and other athletic behaviors. Additionally, children at preschool age can improve their ability to use their hands for writing and other delicate tasks by drawing, coloring, cutting out shapes with children’s scissors, and playing with toys such as building blocks that help improve motor skills. Some experts suggest that kids who aren’t properly prepared in these ways may struggle in comparison to other children in their age groups once they enter school.

Experts generally tend to break motor skills up into two different categories. Gross motor skills involve big physical actions centered around movement and agility, while fine motor skills are oriented around delicacy with the hands. Generally speaking, kids tend to be more advanced in the area of gross motor skills in preschool, while fine motor skills are usually a bit further behind. In fact, the preschool years are generally a time of great milestones in the area of gross motor skills with children becoming much more agile in their basic movements, but the development of fine motor skills may be in more of a beginning stage. In both areas, there are things that parents can do to give their kids a chance to practice and improve these skills more rapidly.

When helping children develop gross motor skills in preschool, experts suggest that parents should generally offer their child a chance to get involved in fun physical games. These could include dancing games, marching games, hopping games and other activities that require physical exertion. Additionally, time spent outdoors on playgrounds equipped with swings, slides, and things for children to climb can potentially speed up a child’s motor skill development. If these skills aren’t developed to a high enough level during these years, certain studies have shown that kids may never take as much interest in physical activity later in life, and some of them may suffer health problems as a result.

The development of fine motor skills in preschool will generally involve time spent doing things with the hands, including writing and drawing. Art activities are especially useful for development of fine motor skills because kids generally have fun with them, and they also encourage creativity. Giving kids access to art sets with water colors, scissors for children, colored pencils, and construction paper can sometimes be a good way to encourage improvement in these areas since children will often play with these things for the pure fun of it. Parents can help by setting goals for the kids, showing them the proper technique, praising them for their efforts and offering encouragement.

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