As well as being the most fundamental of all skills to learn, motor skill is also one of the most neglected. Whilst specific learning techniques like learning math or reading can take weeks to acquire, fine motor abilities are much more simple to pick up and to develop. Essential for just about all school-related activities, including stacking blocks and drawing pictures, they’re also crucial for a child’s development from birth right through to the end of primary school.
Although it’s quite easy for kids to learn how to use their hands to manipulate things like blocks, toys or puzzles, it’s when the fine motor starts to come into play that learning the most complex motor techniques can be a challenge. For example, in order to learn how to put a ball into a cup, you need to understand how cups work and what goes in them – but when it comes to a toy car, this can be a lot harder. While most children will get around the concept by the age of five, older children might have a lot of trouble with it. This is because there are far fewer parts to a toy car than a real car, and so the same techniques used when learning how to push a train through the tunnel to reach the station on an empty track won’t work.
To help these kids get a grip on the mechanics of cars and other small objects, it’s a good idea to include some type of motor skill or motor planning exercises into their learning routine. For example, if you’re teaching them how to stack blocks, you could teach them how to put the blocks together by hand, or perhaps explain how to stack blocks together in a certain order.
If you’re teaching your kids how to play with cars, motor skill and motor planning drills can also serve to give them a taste of the more complicated aspects of motor planning, where you can show them how to drive. While there are several different types of games you can teach them to play, one of the best options is a memory game – like Trivial Pursuit or Kenzar Golf, which involves a child trying to remember which car they were playing with last time you played this game.
As well as teaching your kids to learn how to drive by using their motor skills, they’ll also need to learn about the different gears and how to operate a car. You can also set up a motor skill game, with the goal of learning how to do a specific task (like driving down a straight line) in a specified time. by having each child drive down the same straight line and then stopping for five seconds (after the fifth stop, they have to turn left again to complete their route).
These motor planning games are a great way to encourage your children to explore motor planning skills. The goal is to be able to use their motor planning skills in as many different ways as possible – and while some may be able to do so easily at first, as they progress, they’ll need to experiment with different methods until they learn all of the skills and can learn new ones themselves. There are many motor planning games to choose from – including word, math, counting and other kinds of crossword puzzles, word search puzzles, crossword puzzles and more. All motor skill games will need a bit of practice to master, so don’t worry too much if it takes them a while to get the hang of it.