Fine Motor & Kinesthetic Awareness ; Halloween Style
We have discussed fine motor, the coordination of small muscles, in
movements—usually involving the synchronization of hands and fingers with
the eyes and its importance in the development of kids. If you missed this blog post you can find it here, 10 At-Home Activities to Build Fine Motor Skills. Fine motor
skills play into another developmental skill, kinesthetic awareness!
So let’s jump in, learn a little about it and join these two skills together!
This time of year is SUPER easy and fun to come up with themed
activities to engage these muscles and work on important developmental
skills while also having fun so I will be sharing a few activities I
plan on doing with my therapy kiddos during the month of October.
A simple favorite for fine motor coordination is:
Now, Kinesthetic awareness may be a new topic for some parents and it
can sound a little intimidating BUT it’s super simple and equally as
important as fine motor skills as they tend to work together in a lot
of ways. Kinesthetic awareness can be defined as how we sense our body
and the way it moves. Being aware of your body in space. This begins
during infancy, a baby will acknowledge it has hands they learn to
move them, bring them to their mouth, realize they can grab and hold
things. This leads to them bringing things towards their mouth or
closer to their eyes but they often miss judge and knock themselves
in the head….this is the beginning stages of kinesthetic awareness. As
it develops movements become innate, you don’t think about the
movements required to walk, or pull out a chair to sit without looking
at it, or even how to grab a cup without knocking it over. However,
for some of our kids this does not come natural and you may notice:
- Awkward movements
- Observes their own movements (watching their own feet when they run)
- Cannot mimic movements/ play “mirror”
- Prefers small spaces
- Gives/likes getting “bear” hugs
- Knocks over cups
Children who struggle with their movements and knowing where their body is in space will oftentimes begin to struggle in other areas,
especially school, because their focus is always on their body
movements. Sitting criss cross on a rug requires their full attention
therefore; they do not pay attention to what is being taught. Asking
their body to do multiple things like sitting at a desk while also
writing becomes impossible when they have to focus completely to do
one of the two tasks. So how do we improve this?! Here is a fun
activity (adapted to be Halloween) that incorporates fine motor skills and introduces kinesthetic awareness.
Creepy critter crawlers!- Using free printable tracing worksheets
linked below you can create an easy spooky creature crawl!
To make your creatures you will need:
Small magnet (glued to the back of the critter)
Magnet to use for guiding
Some free pintables can be found here:
Let your child get creative making their small creature, SMALL is the
key! It should fit onto the lines AND it requires fine motor skills!
Its a win win!!
Slip the sheet and critter into a sheet protector (this is important
to make the creature glide) and use a magnet on the back side of the
sheet protector to guide your creature across the lines using the
dominant hand to guide and the non-dominant hand to hold the sheet.
With this activity, children are challenged to coordinate hand and/or
arm movement as they use a magnet to glide Halloween “creatures” along
a path without the view of their own hand, this activity requires
internal awareness! This also incorporates bilateral movement and
visual scanning, all of which are beneficial to development!