To tag onto the preschool discussions, I thought I would add some insight regarding what fine motor might look like in preschool. In a preschool classroom, children should be presented with multiple opportunities
throughout the day to engage in fine motor tasks. Look for a classroom to have fine motor play opportunities during free play or "center" time. Are there toys or other manipulatives that ...require your child to use their hand muscles? Are these materials easily accessible to the children? Art activities are a common avenue to address fine motor development. Marena has previously mentioned focusing on your child's experience when creating, rather than the finished product. Are the children encouraged to create freely, using a variety of materials? Does the artwork in the classroom look child-made? Another question to ask, or observe during a classroom visit, if possible, is: are the children encouraged to manage their belongings or classroom materials independently? For
example, when preparing to go out for recess, are the children encouraged to put on/take off and zip/unzip their coats independently? Are the children encouraged to open/close and put items in/out of their backpacks independently? At snack time, are the children given opportunities to serve themselves? Many want to
know if their child will learn to write. Preschoolers should be provided opportunities to write their name, with more direct teaching the year before kindergarten. Learning to write letters outside the child's name is a skill they
will be taught in kindergarten. When looking at preschool classrooms, opportunity is key. Children should be provided numerous opportunities in a variety of different ways in order to help them develop their fine motor
~Sarah Eller, occupational therapist
Daily tips, activities, and suggestions on how to naturally embed speech, language, play, fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive skills into your child's day, often using the materials already found in your home environment.
Marena Mitchell is a speech-language pathologist