NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS
Children’s muscle control and coordination is developed in a natural, orderly way — from the top down and from the inside out — starting at the head and working towards the toes while building out from the torso to the limbs. This order of priority, established by the brain, insures that the large muscles necessary for coordination and locomotion (getting from here to there) are well organized and in control, before taking on the complex mastery of the more than 60 combined muscles in the hands (let alone the dozens of bones, hundreds of ligaments and tendons, etc., etc.)
So you see, on the developmental totem pole, the hands come last.
Fine Motor Skills are the highly precise motor control necessary to bring all five fingers together to do detailed work requiring minute, almost imperceptible movements, such as using a pencil to write your name.
Here are 3 Core Skills you can do at home to build upper body and core strength while the hands “wait their turn” in the developmental chain of events.
Wheelbarrowing around the playroom or out in the backyard is great for building up arm strength (in between the giggling, of course.) Importantly, I recommend holding your child at the hips rather than by the feet. This prevents an unnatural bow in the back, while lightening the load on those little arms.
Kids love this and you’ll be amazed how far they can go with a little practice. Sit on the floor and raise up your seat using your hands and feet. Then crab – crab – crab along as far as you can go. Have kids go forwards and backwards too!
See how slow you can go, inching along like a caterpillar! Walk your hands out in front of you, then walk your feet up to your hands.