Boys are drawing on a creative table from FLEXA with the craft caddy setthe creative table from FLEXA are being used to draw

Fine Motor Skills and School Readiness

by Camilla Ejsing

Developing fine motor skills will enable your little student to participate in school activities much more easily and happily. Like with everything else, fine motor skills improve with practice, and you can help your child refine their skills with some super simple and fun activities you can do together. Curious to know more? Read the full article.

Highlights: 

  • Your preschooler will benefit from mastering some fine motor skills before starting school. 
  • You can help your child practise fine motor skills by doing arts and crafts together.
  • Paper crafting, making bead plates, drawing, and using scissors are great ways to practise. 
  • Occupational Therapist, Camilla Ejsing, recommends a fun and motivating activity for your child. 

Craft Time is a Good Time 

“It’s a good idea to practice fine motor skills and sitting at the study desk, even before your child starts school. Great ways to encourage your child to practice fine motor skills are paper crafting, making bead plates, colouring, drawing, and using scissors. When children make bead plates, or cut after a line, their eyes must focus on what they are doing for quite a while, and that is important for their ability to focus and maintain awareness. An ability your child needs every single day when he or she starts school,” says Camilla Ejsing. 

So, maybe it’s time to start doing some arts and crafts at home? Below Camilla Ejsing recommends a fun cutting activity that can help motivate your child to practise fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination and the ability to sit still and concentrate at the desk. Scissor skills does not always come easy for little hands, but practising, and making it fun, is the way to go. 

Cut Along the Lines 

What you need: A pair of scissors, a piece of paper or cardboard, some glue, and a pen.  

How:  

1. Draw a football or maybe a rocket. 
2. Cut it out. 
3. Attach it to the top of one of the scissor blades with glue.  
4. Draw lines that lead to a football goal or outer space. 
5. Encourage your child to cut along the lines to score a goal or aim for space. 

“You can make the activity more difficult by drawing crooked lines instead of linear lines. It’s also easier for your child to cut in cardboard than paper, as it requires less work for the support hand. When cutting, the rule of thumb always applies – both thumbs should be held over the paper when cutting. In other words, the hand holding the scissors must have the thumb in the top hole of the scissors and the support hand must have the thumb on top of the paper. This will make it easier for your child to cut in a controlled manner. Cutting with a pair of scissors is a great school readiness exercise. When cutting, fine motor skills, hand cooperation, eye-hand coordination, and the ability to focus are practised. All fantastic skills for your school child to master,” says Camilla Ejsing. 

If you don’t have a football or space-loving child, you could stick a horse on the scissors that is going to the stable, or anything that might motivate your little one to use the scissors, sit still and concentrate – even just for a little while. You can also scroll down to download our cutting practice sheets and illustrations. 

And remember, allowing children to run freely, hang with their head down and use their gross motor skills are at least as important as practising their fine motor skills before school starts. 

Download fun cutting templates and instructions here


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