Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Friday, December 16, 2011

How to teach your child simple finger and hand exercises to improve fine motor skills

Fine motor skills are movements of the hands and fingers. A good pencil grip reflects strong fine motor skills. Before enrolling into kindergarten, children should have mastered the skill to hold pencils, erasers, colors and other small objects so that they will be prepared to start learning to write alphabets, draw, color and many other activities that involves usage of hand muscles.

Weak hand muscles result in faulty pencil grips, which in turn will result in illegible handwriting. In order to nip the problem in the bud, children should be put through a series of hand exercises that will help strengthening the hand muscles. Some good finger exercises are:

1)      1) Playing with playdough. Your child can roll, squash, pinch, pat, pound, mould, make shapes and insert fingers into palm-sized dough. Alternately, you can give your child your regular dough that you use to make breads.

2)     2) Give your child crepe paper. Cut it into strips and let your child crumple them and make scrunchies.

3)        3) Scissor cutting is very effective finger exercise and a pre-handwriting training and skill because the child uses his forefinger, middle finger and thumb together. If your child is left-handed, get left-handed scissors and allow them to cut using their left hand.

1)      In order to sharpen your child’s cutting skills, draw thick straight lines on a plain piece of paper and get your child to cut on those straight lines. This activity will improve your child’s dexterity in using fingers.

2)      Alternately, draw different shapes like large circles, triangles or squares and make your child to cut on them. You will have to sit beside your child and guide your child’s hand initially until your child is able to do it alone.

Some good hand exercises are:

1)      1)Give your child a big plastic ball or a smaller ball. Make your child ‘walk’ the ball up and down his leg, by using his fingers and make sure that your child does this activity using the hand he favors most.

2)      2)Give your child a few beans to hold in one hand and make him drop them one by one into each hole of an empty egg box, by using the tips of the forefinger and thumb of the hand that is holding the beans.

3)      3)Give your child a couple of coins to hold in one hand and make him insert them through a slot of a mini piggy bank, using the tips of forefinger and thumb.

Good nutrition goes hand in hand with good child care. Give your child fresh juices of fruits to fortify him with essential mineral and vitamins. Do you know that gooseberry is very rich in vitamin C and is very beneficial in fighting diseases like diabetes, heart ailments, dysentery and diarrhea and is used as an ingredients in many herbal medicines.
 Indian gooseberry

Gooseberry juice is an excellent tonic for hair loss, infections, eye care, anti-aging and to boost your appetite.

How to make gooseberry/amla juice

1 kilo Gooseberry (Amla)
Deseed the gooseberry and cut into small pieces. Grind it to a paste with a little water. Strain the paste through a fine muslin cloth by wrapping the muslin cloth and squeezing it with your hand to strain out all the juice into a bowl. Alternately, you can use a fine strainer instead of a muslin cloth. Add more water to the leftover pulp and strain it again. Store the juice in the fridge. You can store it up to 2 weeks. Add a couple of tbsps of sugar syrup or honey or black salt, to a glass of juice before drinking, if you prefer it sweet or drink as it is.

In order to preserve the juice longer..say up to 9 to 10 months..add 2 tbsps of sodium lactate, available at a chemist or a food store, and mix well. You can store in ice cube trays and use the cubes as required.

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