In this age of technology, professionals such as teachers and pediatricians have noticed at an increasingly alarming rate, school age children entering school weak in their strength and hand dexterity. More and more children are finding it hard to hold pen, pencils, markers and weaker skills such as independence in dressing themselves, buttoning or using zippers on their clothing items. Overuse of technology is partly responsible for this ; the use of touch screen i-pads and phones.
Children now have been spending more time staring at tables, phones, i-pads, playing on them, than say playing with blocks, puzzles, cutting, gluing, moving and pulling toys, pulling and jumping ropes. This is not saying that technology is bad, by no means. Abuse and overuse of technology has its consequences and this is one of them.
How can this be dealt with positively? The basic idea is simple. It is back to basics hands on play. Build that muscle dexterity, eye hand coordination through drawing/art time. Children innately enjoy creativity using materials such as color pencils, crayons and markers. This is only if they are given and presented the opportunity. Show and give them that and it is for certain that they will come up with creative wonders that will surprise the adults and put smiles on faces.
It is Important for a child to develop strong fine motor skills at a young age. Fine motor skills include any specialized and specific movement of the hands, wrists, and fingers.
Weak fine motor skills leads to not being able to even hold pencils, pens markers, crayons well. As children get older, affecting writing and communicating, learning skills. There is also a correlation between the hand muscles and the brains and how it develops through time. Weak control leads to weakened brain connection neuroligically and movement, perception, coordination physically. Good fine motor skills are needed to prepare young children for writing (and learning) letters and numbers. This is called print awareness, when shapes and handwriting, shapes and movements are combined.
Weak motor skills in a child also leads to challenging times learning and growing, feeding and dressing themselves. That can also lead to frustration and possible behavioral issues.
That is just a number of reasons as to why high motor skills need to be encouraged and developed in children and not the overuse of technology.
In a mother’s word:
“Six-year-old Patrick has been having weekly sessions with an occupational therapist for six months to help him develop the necessary strength in his index finger to hold a pencil in the correct, tripod grip.
His mother, Laura, blames herself: “In retrospect, I see that I gave Patrick technology to play with, to the virtual exclusion of the more traditional toys. When he got to school, they contacted me with their concerns: he was gripping his pencil like cavemen held sticks. He just couldn’t hold it in any other way and so couldn’t learn to write because he couldn’t move the pencil with any accuracy.
“The therapy sessions are helping a lot and I’m really strict now at home with his access to technology,” she said. “I think the school caught the problem early enough for no lasting damage to have been done.” via The Guardian.com/Society
This Friday on Candidly CreaTee ,we spoke to the Founder of Chubby Finger Play, Yvonne Kong. Chubby Fingers Play is a first-of-its-kind handmade novelty crayons store in Malaysia. They design and create non-toxic crayons for everyone who loves art. Such a wonderful and beautiful product.
Encourage children to get creative, to draw and have hands-on play activities using markers, crayons as such, throughout his or her childhood to reap all the benefits. It will overflow into their personal and academic life in tremendous and positive ways.
Let us know your thoughts on developing fine motor skills in children and activities you do to further encourage or enhance it. As always, we love to hear from all of you.
Till next time.