You may have come across the image here comparing a preschool child’s hand (right) to a typical 7-year-old child’s hand (left). The reason this image is popping up all over social media is that it provides evidence of children’s physical development and supports the argument that educators and parents should not be pushing young children to master skills beyond their developmental capabilities.
In general, control of the muscles progresses outwards from the center of the body. For example, children usually develop the muscles of their trunks and shoulders earlier than their legs and feet which are further from the center of their bodies. Therefore, a preschool child’s hands are still developing. Children need to be given opportunities to perform a range of tasks to develop their fine motor skills and strengthen the muscles in their hands, fingers, and wrists as they continue to grow.
Some great ways to support children as they develop their fine motor skills include:
- Tearing paper
- Kneading dough
- Building block structures.
- Using scissors.
- Using writing utensils and manipulative toys
- Singing songs with hand movements, such as "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"
- Digging in dirt
- Dress up play
- Beading and puzzles
Looking for some great hand development lessons? Check out our Reels posted on this page for many ideas! 🎥
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