Before a kid can hold a pencil to write their name it goes to say they need to first know how to grip it between their fingers, and move it along the paper with sufficient strength and coordination to write out those few letters. Basically after the pincer grasp (used when picking things up between their thumb and index finger) is mastered, babies and toddlers in their early years need to further enhance their fine motor skills ability before kindergarden or school. Here’s a short read on some very (very) cheap home activities to help your kids along in this category
Yep, just plain uncooked rice, a plastic container, a small plastic spoon, a funnel, a little cup, maybe a straw, and so on in a set for kids to dip their little fingers into to scoop, pick up between their fingers to place into a straw or funnel not only encourages fine motor skill development, but also imaginative play , and in the case for my kids it does keep them occupied for quite a while. Just be warned, that a spill may occur and you may have some rice on the table and floors.
2. Bubble wrap aka pop-pops
You know those clear bubble wraps that come in the boxes whenever you purchase something from (ahem) Lazada or any store? You can cut a small piece out for your kids to go wild in popping them between their fingers, or u can just place the whole roll of it on the floor and let them stomp out the ‘pop’s. When my daughter first started playing with it she actually pressed out almost all the ‘pop’s in her bubble wrap, and asked for more. It also kept her occupied on road trips in the car. Just be careful of the suffocation hazard and don’t leave it lying around the house unattended, especially if you also have crawling babies around.
You can get really cheap stickers and let your kids go wild with it , paste in their blank activity books, stationaries or in our case we allowed the kids to stick on the walls of our house (my only rule to them was no stickers on table tops, floors and glass doors). Tips on where to get the cheapest stickers? Try Mr DIY , they sell a whole bunch of stickers for a few ringgit, or maybe the RM2 shop may have some. My kids even used those small rectangular Aeon Jusco stickers (that I’ve yet to collect to redeem any gift all these years) as part of their sticker collection. The act of peeling the stickers out (without breaking/tearing it) and pasting it on a surface requires some concentration and the manipulation of their lil fingers to transfer the sticky part of the sticker to a surface and not let it stick back on your fingers. Want to level up? Smaller stickers or non uniform shapes (eg.dinasour or animal stickers) can be a choice. As for my walls, we figured we will repaint the house walls in years when the kids are no longer little and have lost interest in stickers, or maybe we may just keep ot for sentimental value. Anyway no one cares how our house looks like inside other than the actual occupants of the house, plus it makes a pretty ‘decorative’ wall.
Hope you enjoyed this short read, and happy parenting (for the rest of your lifeeee!).