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Vivvi

Joie de Vivvi

3/17/2021

Preschool Activities That Improve Your Child’s Coordination

Preschool may look like all fun and games — blocks, books, toys — but behind every plate of Play-Doh pasta or finger-painted masterpiece is an important development milestone. Children all develop at their own speed, and the trick for any toddler curriculum is to incorporate fun, engaging, and age-appropriate activities that work behind the scenes to cultivate all the key fine and gross motor skills. 

Preschool Activities for Fine and Gross Motor Skills

Below, some easy-to-do preschool activities that work just as well at home as they do school. 

1. Finger Painting

Besides the obvious — it’s fun — finger painting is great for developing manual dexterity and stoking creativity. Finger painting also allows kids to practice hand-eye coordination and sensory responses.

To develop more advanced motor skills, slowly introduce utensils like sponges or paintbrushes.

2. Play-Doh and Putty

A childhood favorite as old as time, Play-Doh is the perfect tool for honing fine and gross motor skills. Putties like this are a sensory activity that allows kids to play with their hands, practice forming a tight grip, and use creativity to make whatever they dream up. 

3. Planting Seeds and Gardening

For parents with green thumbs — or lovers of sustainable, farm-to-table cooking and eating — gardening with little kids is an excellent choice. Their motor skills will develop through planting seeds and digging in the soil. Be sure to go for easy-to-grow (and delicious-to-eat) produce like herbs, lettuce, and beans. Learn more about gardening with children at kidsgardening.org.

4. Sand Play

Who doesn’t love the feeling of sand between their toes? Although you may not be able to get to the beach every day, it’s still possible to incorporate creative sand play, which is an excellent activity for motor skills. Among the many options: Fill a tray with sand and get to work making fun shapes and building castles. 

Fine and Gross Motor Skill Milestones at Vivvi

Vivvi helps children ages six weeks to five years hit all their milestones by incorporating age-appropriate, curated activities that promote motor skill development. Here’s how we do it:

Infants: 6 weeks to 3 months

Vivvi teachers encourage our youngest children to grasp at objects and control their arm and leg movements. 

Fine Motor Skills

  • Make grasping motions
  • Grasp caregiver’s fingers during feeding
  • Explore their fingers with their mouth

Gross Motor Skills

  • Lift their head
  • Develop controlled arm, leg, and hand movements

Infants: 3 – 6 months

From three to six months of age, teachers at Vivvi encourage the development of gross motor skills through activities like tummy time.

Fine Motor Skills

  • Reach for objects
  • Begin to shake rattles

Gross Motor Skills

  • Expand head movements
  • Balance on the tummy and develop core muscles

Infants: 6 – 12 months

From six months to one year old, teachers encourage crawling, finger playing, and sitting upright.

Fine Motor Skills

  • Hold objects
  • Hold their own bottle
  • Mimic finger play songs

Gross Motor Skills

  • Roll in both directions
  • Sit upright
  • Begin crawling
  • Transfer objects between their hand

Toddlers: 12 – 18 months

Once infants reach one year old, teachers support toddlers’ quest to stand upright.

Fine Motor Skills

  • Use their thumb and index finger
  • Use their index finger to point
  • Begin to turn pages in board books

Gross Motor Skills

  • Stand upright with support
  • Begin to stand upright without support

Toddlers: 18 – 24 months

This is when children at Vivvi begin to walk independently, use utensils, and try their hand at finger-painting.

Fine Motor Skills

  • Empty containers
  • Begin to hold utensils
  • Develop pre-writing skills through art and finger painting

Gross Motor Skills

  • Walk independently
  • Run and climb
  • Show interest in stairs

Twos

At two years old, children start to embrace advanced movements: rolling balls, jumping up and down, and clapping their hands to music.

Fine Motor Skills

  • Develop their grasp
  • Understand how glue is used
  • Begin to use writing tools appropriately
  • Explore scissor work

Gross Motor Skills

  • Catch and roll balls
  • Jump with two feet
  • Clap their hands to music
  • Walk with heel-toe step
  • Walk up and downstairs with help
  • Ride a pre-wheeler
  • Slide down a slide

Threes

At three, your child is ready to begin riding a tricycle and throwing balls.

Fine Motor Skills

  • Develop their pincer grip
  • Start to write their name
  • Cut in a straight line
  • Turn the pages of a book

Gross Motor Skills

  • Ride a tricycle
  • Throw a ball with support
  • Roll a large ball to a specific target
  • Throw a ball overhead
  • Move their body to music

Fours

Once children turn four, they’ll be encouraged to run, jump, and play catch.

Fine Motor Skills

  • Draw or trace simple shapes and objects
  • Draw with a refined pincer grip
  • Build complex structures
  • Cut shapes
  • Write their first name
  • Fold with creases
  • String beads
  • Control brush and paint

Gross Motor Skills

  • Throw and catch independently
  • Bounce large balls
  • Walk on a straight line
  • Balance on one foot
  • Run smoothly, march, gallop, and hop

Learn more about our inquiry-based learning model and other developmental milestones at Vivvi.

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