If you’re a parent, you undoubtedly are focused on every aspect of your child’s well-being. One of the most important parts of their development is coordination and fine motor skills. Many of these skills come naturally as your kids age, but there are ways you can help them increase their proficiency if you see them struggling. The following three activities will help improve your children’s coordination and overall motor skills.
The first way you can help your children improve their coordination is through sports. Many kids don’t want to simply sit around and do hand-eye exercises to get better at training their brains, and they can’t really be blamed for that. However, sports training can use some of the exact same exercises in a far more enjoyable way. Rather than having your children sit in an occupational therapist’s office doing repetitive motions, you can grab a couple of baseball gloves and go play catch on the front lawn. You’ll build stronger familial bonds while helping them improve their coordination.
If you don’t have the time or resources to play sports alongside your children, it may benefit you both to enroll them in a program that does. Many schools or community recreational centers offer youth leagues that are either cheap or free of charge, allowing your kids to get the coordination they need even if you don’t have the space to handle it yourself. Along with building motor skills, enrolling your children in sports will teach them teamwork, social skills, and problem-solving, helping them become a more complete adult-in-training.
Playing an Instrument
The second way you can help your child improve their coordination is by encouraging them to play an instrument. The love of music connects all cultures and people worldwide, but there are developmental benefits to it as well. When your kids get involved in music education, they use both halves of their brains. The right hemisphere of the brain controls the beat and tune that rules music, but reading sheet music and analyzing compositions is the responsibility of the left brain.
Not only does playing an instrument improve coordination, but singing and dancing do as well. If you have a few minutes to spare, turn on something upbeat and have an impromptu dance party with your kids! Jam out in the living room to some of your favorite songs from high school; let your children tease you for your music taste while you all move around without thinking about grace or appearances.
This movement to music is incredibly useful for developing coordination in young bodies. Every time their limbs cross the invisible line running from their nose to between their feet, your kids’ balance and motor skills are improving.
The third way you can help improve your children’s coordination is through simple outdoor play. As your children are growing up and learning about the world, they should be playing outside as much as possible. While this isn’t always feasible in today’s world due to living situations and safety concerns, getting your kids outside is crucial to their development.
If you don’t have a yard or outdoor space at home, there are still plenty of options for outdoor play. Many communities have parks or local gardens where your kids can run around, even if it’s just an open area where you bring a picnic and some frisbees. If you have a little bit of space, the only limit is your creativity. You can bring bubbles, some foam balls from a dollar store, or even clay to model the shapes of funny clouds you see together. Getting outdoors with your children is a great way to help them develop coordination in a productive and enjoyable way.
To sum things up, helping your kids build their coordination and motor skills doesn’t have to feel like a chore. While you may need to enlist professional help, you can make a world of difference from home with these three tips.