Developing Motor Skills

How does technology affect motor skills? Researchers are asking this question. Technology may be hindering children from developing the necessary hand strength to hold pencils, cut with scissors, and perform tasks children their same age could easily do just a decade ago.

A number of recent studies find that kids are coming into classrooms ill-prepared for writing and other activities that require finger muscle strength.

So what is the impact of technology on the developing child? Children’s developing sensory, motor, and attachment systems have biologically not evolved to accommodate this sedentary, yet frenzied and chaotic nature of today’s technology.

What can you do to help your children? Many of your child’s daily activities—like getting dressed, eating, and writing—require control of small muscles in the hands. We call these skills fine motor skills. Your child can do more things for himself when he has opportunities to practice these skills. There are lots of activities that can increase muscle strength and coordination, preparing children for more advanced skills, from writing with a pencil, using a computer mouse, or playing a musical instrument. Help your child build fine motor skills at home by providing opportunities to.

  1. Finger paint
  2. Use a paintbrush
  3. Play with playdough and clay—roll, smoosh, pat, pound, and use tools like popsicle sticks or stamps
  4. Put together puzzles
  5. Place pegs in a board
  6. Build with small blocks
  7. Play board games
  8. Play with puppets

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