Promoting motor skills in your baby has long term positive effects
Updated: Nov 3, 2018
The Our First Year team has always pushed early intervention when it comes to motor, language, and social skills. Children need to be able to cut, write, have conversations, and problem solve (among other things). If children are not consistently working on these skills, they will atrophy, much like the muscles of the body. When children are introduced to motor activities in infancy, it becomes easier for them to develop the muscle memory that is often needed to perform such tasks.
An article from the BBC, Surgery Students Losing Dexterity to Stitch Patients, touches on the significant decrease in fine motor skills of young adults. Roger Kneebone, a professor of surgical education at Imperial College, London, is finding that "medical students might have high academic grades but cannot cut or sew." The OFY team agrees with Professor Kneebone's statement, "a lot of things are reduced to swiping on a two-dimensional flat screen, which takes away the experience of handling materials and developing physical skills."
As a society, we are now seeing the long term effects of increased use of screens and decreased outdoor and imaginative play. This is also a result of increased academic subjects in school and a lack of creative arts. Children need more time to play, problem solve, and engage in sensory activities in order to be successful as adults.
Another article that hit home for the OFY team, from ABC News - Melbourne, "iPad Generation's fingers not ready to write, teachers say." The teachers interviewed for this story state that, "children are holding crayons and scissors less and making fewer things with their hands. We've noticed that sometimes, even if you pass a pencil or a paintbrush to a child, they're not quite sure how to receive it and how to hold it." The OFY team is observing this in children daily and the referrals for occupational and physical therapies are rapidly on the rise.
Parents, before you present your child with another "educational app" for his tablet, offer playdough, beads, scissors, and glue. Cultivate your child's motor and problem-solving skills, as well as their imagination and watch as they grow and navigate their environment more efficiently.
For ideas on how to increase your child's motor skills, purchase your OFY infant backpack or toddler tote and check out the activity cards that accompany each toy.
Increasing your child's developmental skills...it's all in the bag!