Category Archives: Fine Motor Skills

Spell, Listen & Count for Fun!

This week has flown by and so much has happened in such a short amount of time. To start, the family and I are getting over Montezuma’s Revenge. I was hit the hardest. Thankfully, I’m feeling sooooo much better and so is everyone else. It started with food poisoning from an Ethiopian Restaurant but my stomach ache was compounded by a bad veggie patty from a Subway.

Amira’s sniffles have subsided, so I finally put her in her crib for the first time. We’ve been co-sleeping since she grew out of her bassinet. She literally started kicking me out of the bed and sleep became unproductive for the both of us. So it was time. Yay! She adjusted with a hitch. No wailing. A few whimpers, but that was to settle herself in before going to sleep. What a tremendous blessing! I think my early experience with A.J. sort of scared me, but after I was consistent, he adjusted well too.

Here are a few pictures of Amira playing and joining in on the fun A.J. and I have when we play and learn. As you can see, she can now put herself into a crawling position. AmiracrawlSince this month’s theme is “All About Me.” We spent time reinforcing how to spell A.J.’s full name. It was easy for him to learn how to spell his names, but adding the letters in the proper order provided another learning opportunity.Feltname

We’re always counting, so I found this cool balloon hunt activity from The Activity Mom’s site that I modified and played with A.J. He loved it so much that he would scream each time he found a balloon. I simply hid the numbered balloons. Each time he found one he had to put it in the proper clear bin. To make it easier, as finding the balloons were challenging enough, I put the numbered bottled caps in the tops of each bin.Balloon HuntAnother counting activity that we did combined fine motor skills work.CountthebeadsWe are also learning about the senses and for a listening activity I placed bells inside of eggs and had him shake them to see if he could tell which egg had the most bells, or which egg was the loudest. Then he ordered them from loudest to softest. Amira shook the eggs, too!EggbellsI still have some wonderful adventures to post about, but I will have to do it sometime this week. Thanks for reading my blog and I hope that if you find any activities that you think other parents may enjoy doing with their little one, by all means share this post and my blog!

Oh, by the way…I surpassed 5,000 views on my blog! Yippee! This is just the beginning! Congratulations to me!

What other fun counting games have you played recently?

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

-Asia

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Fine Finger Play the Montessori Way


My sister recently visited. As usual, we had a  blast! I love it when she comes. She is full of jokes and laughs which are key ingredients in FUN!

A highlight of her visit was our trip to the pumpkin patch at Yule Forest. Although A.J. was a little  standoffish when it came to the animals, he enjoyed the hay ride and the “idea” of the animals. I could tell by his repeating the word hayride along with making sounds of the different animals he saw.

After my sister’s visit, we painted our pumpkins and resumed activities to enhance A.J.’s fine motor skills. 

We focused on the three-finger (pincer) grasp and added an activity to strengthen his circular wrist motion.  

Here is what we did.

Three-finger (pincer) grasp activities included: Stringing beads, using a ladle for scooping the beans and placing Cheerios around spaghetti sticks.

I love his concentration!

Hey Mom! Look at what I did!

He used a ladle to scoop and transfer the beans using the three finger pincer grasp and also did this activity using his whole hand to transfer the beans.

I was totally impressed by this feat! But even more so by his determination to keep trying until he succeeded!

By the time we did the cheerios activity, I must admit that I was a bit tired. My patience was becoming short and I really wanted to stop after a few tries. A.J. however was determined to keep going until he placed all 10 cheerios on the thin, easily breakable, spaghetti stick. Despite my urging to try again later or perhaps tomorrow, he pushed through. I was so proud of him! More importantly, he was super proud of himself!

Circular wrist motion – Using a wisk

Whisking yolks for scrambled eggs

Amira has been observing our activities, too!

What other fun fine motor skill development activities have you done?

Pray, Persist & Prosper,

Bath Time Fun with Blinging Ice-balloons & Other Developmental Activities

Blinging ice-balloons

There is so much you can do with balloons and food coloring. Ice-balloons for bath time or snow fun is one of them. Freezing balloons with food coloring inside is  a neat idea that I discovered from the blog Hurrayic. A.J. thought it was fun, too. He didn’t want to handle the cold balloons as much as he did the ice cubes, but he liked watching the ice balls melt in his bath water.

We also practiced Circular Arm Movements by scrubbing potatoes. This little scrubber is perfect for A.J.’s small hands.

I wanted to practice his 3-finger pincer grasp by using a clothespin to transfer mini pom poms, but he was not ready for this activity. Instead, he used his hands, but in all honesty, he wasn’t feeling this activity at all and only did it once. He dumped out the mini pom poms and went on his way. Oh well…

I'm done! NEXT.

To keep A.J.’s interest we played “marching band.” I put in a video of Florida A&M’s Marching 100 band and we danced and marched around. A.J. didn’t know that we were in fact developing his Gross Motor Skills!

What other balloon fun have you had lately?

Pray, Persist & Prosper!

7 Activities That Demonstrate How Water Play Develops Important Skills

Oooooh. Nice looking ice, Mommy!

1. Melting Colored Ice in Warm Water – Although it is winter, I want A.J. to experience some water play outside of the bathtub. The Mommysaver blog shared this neat colored ice idea. However, instead of adding the ice to bath water as the site recommends, I decided to put the cubes in a large bowl. I added warm water so that A.J. could watch and feel the ice cubes melt. The bright colors (which quickly turned dark), texture of the ice, and warm water all fascinated him.

I was so enthralled by his reaction that I didn’t point out the colors. Next time I most definitely will. This activity reinforces color recognition.

Ice melting in warm water.

Ice is cold.

2. Scooping Ice – helps toddlers perfect their three-finger (pincer) grasp which is important for writing. This is a fine motor skill development activity that will help toddlers gain better control over their arm and hand movements. I dumped the melted ice and added the colored ice without water.

Scooping the ice into a bowl.

Yay for me!

Ooooh Gosh this is fun, but my hands are freezing from playing with the ice!

3. Pouring – is another fine motor skill act. However, it encompasses the whole hand and in Montessori education, this would be considered a Whole hand Grasping activity.

I'm helping Mommy to water the plants.

Since A.J. is watering a plant, Montessori educators would also categorize this activity as practicing Care of the Environment. Other activities that fall under this category are:

  1. Sweeping the floor
  2. Mopping the floor
  3. Cleaning spills
  4. Wiping a table
  5. Washing a dish
  6. Drying a dish
  7. Washing a cup
  8. Drying a cup

4. Wringing a Washcloth or Sponge – This is when things went a little awry. A.J. flung the sponge and water went flying every where. He thought this was funny. Wringing a washcloth for a pre-toddler is challenging because it requires a circular wrist motion, a skill that needs practicing in order to be strengthenend.

After a few minutes of playing with the sponge, A.J. turned the water bowls upside down and began drumming on them. Anything with a flat bottom is at risk of becoming a drum!

Hmmmm, I wonder what sound this new drum will make?

5. Cleaning Spills – is an important part of caring for your environment and teaching this skill so that it becomes a habit for kids is crucial.

Wiping a spill.

6. Spray & Play – I leave a spray bottle with water on the shelf so that A.J. can give it to me anytime he wants me to chase and spray him. I enjoy listening to him squeal with laughter as I chase him around the house. The water is gentle and comes out in a light mist. I especially like to spray him so that he can get accustomed to water unexpectedly getting onto his face. Being comfortable with water in your face is important when learning how to swim. The running also helps him with his Gross Motor Skills.

7. Carrying a Bucket of Water – Actually, this could be carrying a bucket of anything. I haven’t done this with A.J. yet, but I plan to do it soon. Carrying a bucket develops Control of Movement, another area of development in Montessori education.

While the water play activities mentioned here all have latent skill building components, having fun is the surest way to get your toddler doing these activities again and again.

What fun indoor water play have you had with your tot lately?

Pray, Persist & Prosper!