It’s that time of year! Children are dreaming of gifts under the tree, flipping through toy catalogs, and making their lists to old Saint Nick. Now is also the perfect time to work on fine motor skills, even for those as young as 2-3 years old!
Mark it up!
- For preschool age children, work on finger isolation and fine motor skills with pointing to items in a toy catalog or ad, turning the pages, and making a mark on them with a marker
- For those closer to pre-k and kindergarten, work on circling the picture of the desired toy. Don’t use circles only – think of other shapes (squares, triangles, rectangles, X, and +). Some children might like to make a key to correspond with each shape (circles: gift ideas for me, squares: gift ideas for sister, triangles: gift ideas for brother, etc). You can also work on folding down the top corner of a page to mark a page where desired items are found.
- 1st grade and up can circle their ideas (because everyone loves to mark up a good toy catalog with all their wishes) and then use these items to make their list
Make the list!
- With supervision, have your preschooler cut out the desired items and glue them to a piece of paper. If you are not ready to work on scissor skills, help your child sort/organize the pictures you cut out in advance and allow them to glue them to the paper. Put their name on the paper and work on letter recognition to identify their name and Santa’s.
- Kindergarteners can also cut out pictures and glue them to a piece of paper. Help them turn the list into a letter to Santa by including Dear Santa, you can make it as simple or complex as needed, help them label the pictures if they know how to write letters, and help them sign their name.
- 1st graders and up can use the pictures they identified to write a letter with their wish list to Santa Clause! Focus on letter formation, sizing, and alignment. Make it work for your child’s skill level, using all capitals if that’s what they know, using print, or using cursive. If they want to cut and glue pictures, let them! If your child loves to draw, they can draw small pictures of each item. Letter writing is a lost art and this is the perfect time to teach it!
- Don’t forget to send it off, having your youngster work on folding the paper and placing it in an envelope. Take it a step further and help them address the envelope and apply proper postage.
- Any age child can make a picture for Santa to send with their letter. Use various forms of media (crayons, colored pencils, markers, paint, collage, stickers, etc) to make a special picture to send to off.
- Have your little one create custom greeting cards to adhere to presents that will be given for Christmas.
If your child is having trouble, contact a pediatric therapist at Woman’s Center for Wellness. Our team can help assess your child’s skill level and determine if therapy is necessary. For more information, call 225-924-8450.