Quality child care providers not only meet the basic needs of the children in their care, they also strive to help ensure that the children they watch develop properly. Fine motor skills play an important role in hand-eye coordination, and young children need to develop these skills for use later in life.

Here are three fun activities you can engage the children you care for in to help them better develop their fine motor skills.

1. Playing With Play Dough

Children love to dig their hands into a ball of fresh play dough, and doing so could help them develop their fine motor skills. Since play dough is malleable, working it with the fingers can help young children strengthen the small muscles in their hands. These muscles help to hold objects like pencils and scissors later in life.

You can also use play dough to help children increase their hand-eye coordination. Have the children stick straws into a ball of play dough, and have them pull the straws back out again. The movements required to push objects into play dough and pull them back out helps to coordinate movement between small hands and children’s eyes.

2. Finger Painting

Young children enjoy being able to use their hands and fingers as paintbrushes. By allowing the children in your day care to create finger paintings, you are also helping them develop their fine motor skills.

While painting with their hands and fingers, children will be learning to better control the muscles in their hands. Finger painting can also be a great way to improve dexterity, making it easier for children to put their own shoes on or zip up a jacket.

3. Coloring With Broken Crayons

Children enjoy coloring, and you can easily turn this activity into an opportunity to develop fine motor skills by having the children you care for use broken crayons to color. Because broken crayons tend to be shorter and more difficult to grasp, children must hold them properly.

Learning to grip a broken crayon between the thumb and forefinger can make it much easier for a small child to grip a pencil as they begin learning to write in the future.

Play time provides the perfect opportunity for you to help the children you care for work on developing their fine motor skills. By incorporating fun activities like playing with play dough, finger painting, and coloring with broken crayons into your daily schedule, you help children prepare for the future. Click here for more information on child care.