Learning fine motor skills in the early years is crucial for children, as it sets the foundation for their future academic and social development. These skills refer to small muscle movements, i.e., hands and fingers, lips, and tongue, etc., that are necessary for various everyday tasks, including writing, drawing, using utensils, and speaking. Fine motor skills and cognitive development are closely interlinked, as fine motor skills involve the coordination of small muscle movements and cognitive development involves the acquisition and processing of information. As children develop fine motor skills, they also develop cognitive skills such as attention, memory, problem-solving, and spatial awareness. For example, to draw a picture or write letters, a child must first plan and visualise the desired outcome, then use his or her fine motor skills to execute the movements needed to create the desired result.
This is also closely linked to the development of the brain areas responsible for language processing. As children develop fine motor skills, such as the ability to hold a pencil, form letters and shapes, and manipulate small objects, they are also developing the neural connections that support language development and early reading and writing abilities. If a child is struggling with some fine motor tasks, they may also have difficulty with communication and language development. The SIS Kindergarten program is specifically designed to support the children in creating a bridge between the physical aspect of fine motor skills and the cognitive.
Fine motor skills are essential for developing self-help skills in children, allowing them to dress, feed, and care for themselves independently. This independence fosters self-esteem and confidence, as children feel empowered to take care of themselves. As they become more proficient in self-help skills, they develop a sense of competence and confidence, which contributes to their overall well-being.
Children who have difficulties with fine motor tasks may become frustrated and anxious, which can impact their emotional health. If the children are able to perform self-help tasks independently, they experience a sense of accomplishment and pride in their abilities, which can motivate them to take on new challenges. This can also lead to increased social interaction. As children are able to take care of themselves, they are more likely to engage with their peers and participate in activities that can improve their social interaction, such as taking turns, sharing materials, and building positive relationships with peers and adults. This social interaction allows them to learn valuable social skills such as communication, negotiation, and empathy, which play an important role in their emotional health. At SIS, we believe every child is unique, and that they will develop at their own pace to succeed, academically, socially, and more importantly, emotionally.
R M Shrestha, Kindergarten Teacher