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Let's talk about motor skills

With the end of the year approaching, we have to see how we can best prepare our learners

for their new Grade level. I want to specifically focus on Grade R. We had a challenging year

and we still need to continually work towards best preparing our learners for the next grade

level. There are a variety of activities than you can do informally at home to practice

fundamental skills in preparation for Grade R.

1. Fine Motor Skills

Developing the smaller muscle groups in our hands are fundamental for pencil grip, writing

and cutting. All these skills will be taught in the first part of the Foundation Phase.

How can you strengthen your child’s smaller muscle groups?

• Baking activities, especially rolling the dough, cutting out cookies with cookie cutters and

decorating it. (This is also a great way to bond with your little one.)

• Making jewellery; the combination of stabilising the string and placing the beads onto the

string is a great way of strengthening those small muscle groups. You can use macaroni and

food colouring to create your very own homemade beads.

2. Gross Motor Skills

There is a variety of reasons why gross motor development is critical for a child’s overall

development. One of the most important factors is that a child can control his/her body. For

example, when a child doesn’t have strong core muscles the child is unable to sit up straight.

This then makes it impossible for the learner to sit at a desk and directly affects the child’s

ability to focus on the task at hand.

How can you help your child develop gross motor skills?

Play, play and more play. There are many activities that you can do outdoors to help your

child develop their larger muscle groups such as running, kicking a ball, throwing and

catching, swimming, riding a bicycle, etc. Encourage outdoor play as much as possible when

focusing on the development of gross motor skills.

Nikita Pretorius

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