Disclosure: Ohio Art provided the Nanoblocks for review. All opinions expressed within are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
When I was teaching, several boys were pulled from class to receive occupational therapy because their fine motor skills hadn’t quite fully developed yet. At six, someone had deemed their inability to cut (well) with scissors as a problem serious enough to pull them from my class during reading or math to work on their fine motor development.
Never mind that reading and math were also important. Never mind that these boys were 6 or 7. Never mind that it is fairly well documented that boys may develop fine motor skills later than girls.
There are lots of ways you can help develop your child’s fine motor skills at home. Below I have suggested four activities that you can do using items from your home. These activities will help your child build the small muscle development needed to perform these tasks!
Go on a Treasure Hunt
Hand your child a pair of tweezers or a clothespin. Provide him or her a list of small objects to pick up using the tweezers/clothespin. Print this free list of objects for them to find!
Build with Small Building Blocks
Nanoblocks are very, very tiny blocks that you can piece together into fun shapes and sculptures (much like their larger cousins). Since they are so tiny, children develop their fine motor skills by both picking up the pieces and by connecting them to each other to build really cool mini nanoblock® sculptures.
We built this adorable ladybug together, as Buddy (age 5.5) needed some help with the directions. However, he found and arranged the pieces himself, checking with me to make sure he had them in the right place.
We also worked on a Fiddler crab together, which was particularly meaningful, as we had just returned from seeing Fiddler crabs in the marshes of South Carolina.
And, for those of you who are feeling a bit creative —> nanoblock®, the world’s smallest building block system from The Ohio Art Company, makers of the famous Etch A Sketch®, invites nano-enthusiasts of all ages to participate in the first-ever national nanoblock® Award: Build It Your Way Competition (#nanoblockBIYW). Using only nanoblock® bricks, applicants are asked to stretch their imaginations and build their very own unique creations for the chance to be crowned TATSUJIN: Master of nanoblock® along with fun prizes including a family vacation, a free iPod nano and a year-long supply of nanoblock® pieces. Complete rules can be found here: www.YourNanoblockCreations.com.
Standing and Stacking Objects
Children can build their fine motor skills by balancing and stacking objects. This domino activity encourages children to stand dominos upright in the shapes of letters. You can also stack popsicle sticks or straws into towers, balance objects atop of one another, or build wooden block high-rises.