This post talks about a project we did back in October. There was so much going on in such a simple that despite being long past ghosts and goblins, I wanted to share….
I love October! Between Fall coming into full swing and Halloween capping off the month, it leaves plenty of space for themed activities! On this day, we were creating pumpkins by ripping pieces of orange paper and pasting it within a pumpkin outline. Want an incredibly easy way to work on so much goodness? RIP SOME PAPER!! Ripping paper is a great way to build finger strength and bilateral coordination. Finger strength, especially the pincer grasp (the grasp between the thumb and pointer finger- you know, to do things like pick up Cheerios!), is targeted when ripping paper. This grasp is an important fine motor skill that should be developed between 9-11 months. Ripping paper also works on bilateral coordination, or the use of both hands together. We need Bilateral Coordination for things like holding a ball, stabilizing toys, and ripping paper! The development of both these skills is important for several age-appropriate activities such as handwriting, building blocks, self-feeding, getting dressed and so much more! Take a minute to see how often you use the pincer grasp and both hands together to complete a task!
On this particular day, I had the kids lay on their stomachs, propped up on their elbows. This was for two reasons: 1) this position helps strengthen the proximal shoulder muscles (which also aide in the development of grasp and bilateral coordination) and 2) one of our friends was feeling wiggly while sitting in “criss-cross” during circle time, so I decided we should all change our position to a less wiggly one! Our kiddos in the 3-5 year age range should be offered position changes often to increase their attention and therefore, availability to learn!