Fine Motor Friday

Mini Mural !


When I was teaching Pre-Kindergarten we often did murals for two reasons, the first being cooperation, the second for the benefits that working on a vertical surface offers. Fine motor development is crucial for learning how to write. We often take our hand ,wrists and arm muscles for granted because we use them for so much but young children are still developing and strengthening theirs, this is a great exercise for them.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, crayons ( you’ll want washable) , and some stickers.
  2. Pin or tape the paper on your wall our child’s eye height. Painter’s tape is perfect for this, because it also gives your child a boundary to know not to color past. I keep forgetting to buy more!
  3. Start with the crayons.
  4. Next offer up some stickers. When they are peeling off the stickers they are also working out the muscles in their fingers, Use larger ones for beginners and smaller ones as they master the skill. My son worked on his mural on and off for an hour and a half, lots of practice with very little prep!
* I know that writing on the wall seems scary but the same way that your child learns not to draw on the table, they will figure out that the crayon is only supposed to touch the paper. A less scary thing to try is to use your magna doodle on the wall , or a felt board is great too*

Clothespin Stegosaurus

Now that my son is older ( ripe old age of 2) I ask him what he wants to do for art. Consider this your warning for many dinosaurs, things with wheels, and other stereotypical little boy things. It doesn’t seem to matter how many flowers we point out on our walks he finds the diggers and motorcycles zooming past a thousand times more interesting. This craft was thought up spur of the moment but turned out wonderfully, the clothespins add a dynamic activity to the static paper dinosaur.

Gather your materials. You will need a cereal box, some paint, a marker, some clothespins, a googly eye and scissors.

Start by drawing a simple dino shape on the cut open cereal box with your marker.If you are sneaking in a color mixing lesson like I am put 2 colors of paint on a plate and let your child discover the magic of blending the two colors.

Paint the dinosaur. We used a dish scrubber but any paint brush will do. Let dry.

Using the same dish you mixed the colors in roll your clothespins in the paint to color them. Try not to get too much on them , or they will be stuck together and won’t open.Glue the eye on the dry dino.

 

Cut the dino out.

 

Add your clothes pins

Have fun counting and pinching the clothes pins onto the dinosaur, the pinching is great fine motor practice for your little ones too!

Dinosaur Books


Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton has always been a favorite of mine for introducing dinosaurs to young kids. It’s very basic, very bright and has the fundamental facts about dinosaurs without loading toddlers down with too many facts to sort through. The illustrations are bright, fun and descriptive on their own and will keep even the most fidgety 3 year old entertained.

Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! by Sandra Boyntonis a cute little book about opposites with dinosaurs as it’s characters. This is a good book for little people who love dinosaurs but aren’t really ready to dive into facts about dinosaurs yet. The melodic rhyming text and adorable pictures appeals to younger toddlers, and on the page where the dinosaurs are called bad for painting on their friends made both me and my son laugh .

Good Night, Dinosaurs by Judy Sierra is a tongue twister and I love it! I have a hard time pronouncing dinosaur names, but the cute little rhymes she writes to go with each really help. The book is simple, parent dinosaurs tucking in and getting their little dinosaurs ready to fall asleep. Your child will love the catchy “Good Night Dinosaurs, Sleep Tight Dinosaurs, Good Night Dinosaurs, Goodnight!” I know I did.

Parent’s Corner : Make This Tonight !

Letter
Lacing Card

Once again shopping online has forced me to try and see if I could make it myself. I don’t need 5 bug lacing cards, I already have too many toys in my family room! So here is how I made one. I used my son’s initial, but there is no reason not to make a rocket ship, butterfly or a simple square!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard ( I am using a cereal box) , some card stock, permanent double stick tape,scissors, a hole punch, eyelets and an eyelet setter. Oh and a fun shoe lace. I let my son pick this out at the store, it’s thick so it’s won’t fall our of the holes easily.
  2. Cut your cardboard to a size the will be easy for your child to handle, the older the child the bigger it can be.
  3. Cover it with a large piece of cardstock the same way you would wrap a present. This way there are no sharp edges they can play with.
  4. Draw and cut out your initial or shape in a contrasting color and using the permanent double stick tape tape it on.
  5. Punch some hole around the shape. I messed mine up but ultimately even if they aren’t spaced perfectly it’s ok, they will still lace just as well.
  6. Add your eyelets.
  7. Start lacing. Please ignore my son’s messy face, I was making this while he ate lunch and he couldn’t wait to play with it. I was so excited to see how well he did with it too, not bad for 21 months! I think I may make a few more and “give” them to Santa for his stocking!