At the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas, we know how important it is for your children to learn fine motor skills at a young age. Developing fine motor skills allows children to learn how to strengthen and control the hand, fingers, and thumb—which is essential for completing everyday tasks like brushing teeth, tying shoes, or zipping up a jacket.
Finger painting is a great way to encourage the development of fine motor skills in your children. As an added bonus, it also promotes hands-on learning, which allows kids to establish a love of learning because they’re having fun while doing it. And what better way to promote hands-on learning than with finger painting? Here are three tips to enhance your child’s finger-painting experience.
Non-Toxic Finger Painting
If you’ve spent any time at all with young children, you know they have a tendency to put things in their mouths. Toys, car keys, twigs—you name it. So it’s no surprise that children might try to eat finger paint. If your child is very young (old enough to play with finger paint but too young to know the difference between paint and food), try this paint recipe from Baby FoodE. Mix together Greek yogurt, rice baby cereal, and a brightly colored baby puree. The result is a pretty pastel paint that’s totally safe to eat. If your child is toddler-aged and starting to learn the difference between what’s okay to eat and what’s not (but may still sneak a taste every once in awhile), try this recipe from Fun at Home with Kids. She uses plain, tart yogurt and Kool-Aid powder mix. The mixture is safe to eat as well, but the sour taste discourages children from coming back for seconds—teaching your child that paint is for fun, and not for eating.
Mess-Free Finger Painting
This trick from The Hippie Housewife is helpful for making sure that paint doesn’t end up in your child’s mouth, but it’s also great for ensuring that you don’t end up with a paint-covered baby (or a paint-covered kitchen). Put some paint in a large Ziploc bag and squeeze out any air bubbles. Lay the bag flat on top of a piece of paper and tape each edge of the bag to the table. The kids will be entertained for hours and you won’t have a mess to clean up when it’s time for bed. Sounds like a win-win to us!
Focused Finger Painting
This finger painting activity from Crafty Morning works best with older kids who have the ability to hone their fine motor skills to create a specific picture with finger paints, rather than just have a free-for-all with the colors. Kids can use their fingerprints to create a cute image with bunnies in a vegetable garden, carrots and all! This activity fosters creativity and can help kids learn how to make more calculated paint strokes, furthering the development of their fine motor skills.
Developing fine motor skills is important for your child’s hand health. If your child has an injury or a hand condition that makes it difficult for him or her to complete simple daily tasks like buttoning a shirt, holding a spoon, or playing with toys, contact us today for an appointment. Your child’s hand health is our priority!
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