In November, our teachers complete a fall assessment for each child in their class. This assessment process is important because it gives us the opportunity to do two things: to give you specific information about your preschooler and to help your teacher better understand how to support and encourage your child.
Now that the assessments are completed, we look for any age-level or school wide themes that emerge from the fall assessments. This brings me to a “theme” from the fall assessments that I would like to share with you: the importance of fine motor development in the preschool years.
A child’s physical development can be divided into two main categories - large (or gross) motor and small (or fine) motor development. Large motor development involves the muscle movement and coordination of the arms, legs, and other large body parts for actions such as: running, climbing, jumping, kicking, etc. Fine motor development involves smaller muscle movements that occur in the wrists, hands, fingers, and the feet and toes. They participate in smaller actions such as: picking up objects between the thumb and finger, buttoning clothes, writing and cutting with scissors.
The Encyclopedia of Children’s Health states that it is important to be intentional about focusing on fine motor development during the preschool years for three main reasons:
- “The central nervous system is still in the process of maturing sufficiently for complex messages from the brain to get to the child's fingers.”
- “Small muscles tire more easily than large ones, and the short, stubby fingers of preschoolers make delicate or complicated tasks more difficult.
- “Gross motor skills call for energy, which is boundless in preschoolers, while fine motor skills require patience, which is in shorter supply.”
Fine motor skills such as being able to hold a pencil steady to write your name or to cut along a line without assistance lay the foundation for academic success in kindergarten and beyond. While we focus on creative, fun, and purposeful ways to encourage fine motor development at school, I want to encourage you to be intentional about fine motor development. Many fine motor skills must be actively taught to young child with sufficient time and opportunity for them to practice these skills over and over. We’ve given you some easy suggestions for things you can do at home in “10 Tools for Fine Motor Fun.”
Also this month, we look forward to seeing all of you at the Thanksgiving Coffee and Worship on Wednesday, November 19th. This special morning is a great way to express gratitude to God preschool-style. Please know how thankful I am to be able to partner with you and to get to know your children. It’s a huge blessing in my life.
With a grateful heart,
Weekday School Director
Here are some pictures of 3 Day Silly Day