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Have you ever wondered what activities such as writing, reading and painting have in common? They all need precise and practised movements. While most sports require developed lower body motor skills, academics is entirely the opposite. Studies have proved that strong motor skill development in early childhood is linked to better academic performance in the future. Let’s explore the link further.
Video: Camlin (Child Grip Crayon)
Arm and Hand Strength:
For most school tasks like writing and drawing, your child will need to have developed arm and hand strength. He should be able to hold his upper arm steady while only moving the lower part. At home, indoor activities like doodling and colouring can help to develop his hand muscles.
When your child has a good grip on his pencil, his school notebooks will be filled with neat handwriting. Hang on! Much before your child picks up a pencil, he needs to develop finger coordination and wrist stability. Introduce your child to age- and size-appropriate objects like Camlin’s Child Grip Crayons to strengthen his grasp. These are shaped in a way that makes it easy for toddlers to hold and apply pressure to the paper with the crayon.
Years before your child goes on to write award-winning English essays, he should be able to move small objects from the palm to the fingertips and back. In other words, he should have developed in-hand manipulation. Although most kids develop this motor skill on their own, parents can guide them through activities aimed at enhancing this skill. A simple activity to improve in-hand manipulation is to get kids to roll clay into different shapes.
Schools these days expect that parents teach their children to write before schooling begins. This is easier said than done as your preschooler needs to have developed hand-eye coordination to write on and between straight lines. Colouring is one of the activities that trains kids to understand boundaries and writing or colouring within them. Of course, you cannot expect your toddler to pick up a crayon and get it right instantly. This is why it is best to begin young and get them to practise often. Camlin’s Child Grip Crayons come in 5 attractive colours so that your child can have fun while enhancing his hand-eye coordination.
The preference of using one hand over the other is not really a choice one makes. Hand dominance usually develops when the child is around 2 years of age, although it can differ from child to child. To reinforce hand dominance, you can introduce toys and tools between the ages of 10 months and 2 years that your child can grasp. Encourage your child to draw with a pencil or cut out a shape with a pair of (child-friendly) scissors.
While it is true that well-developed motor skills during preschool and toddlerhood do influence academic performance once the child starts school, note that academic achievements are not the only measure of intelligence. Often parents put undue pressure on kids to perform well or score above a certain percentage with the notion that this pressure is for their child’s benefit. Please remember that every child is gifted in different areas. Be it academics, arts, or humanities, it is guaranteed that any skill, when honed and practised, will lead to success of some sort.
So enjoy your child’s learning stages, provide guidance and watch them blossom into the best versions of themselves. But above all, create a safe, secure and loving environment for them to try, fail, learn and eventually grow.