Learn how to easily help your child strengthen their fine motor skills and foster brain development necessary for early writing with fun preschool activities?
First, what is your midline and why is it important?
Imagine that you have a line that goes from your head to your feet separating it into two halves vertically. This is your midline. When we cross over one side of our body to the other (crossing the midline) we engage our brain and build new connections between the right and left hemispheres. There are so many preschool activities we can encourage our children to do that help them to cross their midlines!
Our corpus callosum (a thick band of tissue that separates the right and left hemispheres of our brain) develops more pathways to communicate between the right and left brain when we cross our midline, which is very important for preschoolers.
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Below are activities that are both fun and beneficial in helping your child strengthen their fine motor skills and or cross their midline.
- Side Walk Chalk – Drawing with sidewalk chalk is not only a fun preschool activity but it encourages your preschooler to strengthen their muscles used in fine motor skills. You can easily guide your child to cross their midline by drawing arcs, large circles, rainbows, figure 8’s, or anything that requires your child to cross over from their right to left or left to right side. Not only is this fun but it’s a beneficial preschool activity too!
- Painting – My kids love to paint! Get some large paper and tape it up somewhere inside or out and let them paint. I love the Melissa and Dough paint brushes because they are nice and chunky and easy for your child to grasp. They also make some great paint cups but you can use a paper plate too! Guide them in making large circles, rainbows, etc. that require them to move from the right to left and left to right side of their body. Have them practice pre writing strokes like zig zags, straight lines, circles, wavy lines etc. I promise you this will be more exciting then getting them to sit down with a pencil and paper and practice handwriting!
- Shaving cream Fun! – This one really isn’t as messy as it may sound! We like to play with shaving cream outside in the nice weather or on the shower walls for a quick clean up indoors! This is just another way to get your child to use those fine motor skills and practice pre writing strokes that I mentioned above. Have your child cross their midline by placing one hand over the other making large circles or figure 8’s. They can pretend they are washing the shower walls or just have them draw with their fingers. This will keep them busy and they are sure to enjoy this playtime!
- Play Doh Fun – This is a fantastic activity for building those muscles in your child’s hands that are used in writing! Recently I sat down with my younger girls and we made cakes with our play doh. If you play with your child and guide them in creating different things they are more likely to stay engaged in this activity for a longer time. You don’t have to get all fancy and buy a bunch of stuff to have fun! We used a medicine cup we had lying around, a cutting board, and our garlic press, in addition to our hands! If you don’t want to buy play doh, you can make your own.
- Counting and sorting beans – is not only a great activity for math but it also helps build your child’s fine motor skills. By picking up a bean you have to use your pincher grasp also used to hold a pencil or crayon. You can also take a piece of Construction paper and some glue and have your child pick up a bean and glue them onto the paper in a shape of a letter number or whatever other fun idea you can come up with!
I Purchase 15 bean soup because you get a large variety of beans that give you more sorting choices (My favorite place to get this is at Walmart because they have the best prices from what I have seen).