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School is fun: 3 Easy and interesting small muscle exercises for kids

3 activities to promote fine motor skills

Research shows that children develop their motor skills, cognitive ability, creativity, and imagination more readily when they are active. They learn by experiencing the world using all of their senses. Montessori education involves three important elements in learning - Brain, Senses and Muscles. Out of which, muscle movement is integral for both physical as well as intellectual development.

Anything that has movement and action is tremendously interesting to the child. Well-selected exercises can help him do more flawlessly what he already wishes to do: perfect his movements, coordinate better, and be independent.

Dressing Frames

To help children learn how to dress and undress themselves, frames are provided. These frames hold material and different types of fasteners which one may encounter while dressing. It is very difficult for the child to practice buttoning a shirt when they are wearing it. But if there is a frame with the buttons on the table, they can practice on the frame and when they learn to do them on the frame, it is not so difficult to do it on the shirt. Some frames which are used:

  • Zipper Frame
  • Bow Frame
  • Large Button Frame
  • Small Button Frame
  • Shoe-Lace Frame
  • Velcro Frame
  • Buckle Frame
  • Snapping Frame
  • Hook and Eye Frame

Initially, the child is introduced to the Large Button Frame and Zipper Frame as they are comparatively easier than the rest. Then, as his skill level progresses, he is made familiar with the harder implements.

What are they learning while they play?

Dressing frames build concentration, coordination and control of movement while encouraging children to become more independent as they learn to care for themselves.

Stringing Beads

Stringing beads appears to be very simple and basic. But, in reality, it is a very enjoyable and creative activity which offers multiple benefits to toddlers. It helps to strengthen the small muscles in children’s hands as they grasp beads of different sizes. Searching and reaching out for a bead, picking up the bead, rotating the bead to string it and pulling the bead till the end of the string, all use different hand movements.

Children are very creative and have a vivid imagination. Stringing the beads satiates their creative desire as well. The child can make different patterns and designs on the thread with the help of beads of different sizes, shapes and colours.

What are they learning while they play?

This activity encourages the use of the pincer grasp between the thumb and forefinger and naturally strengthens the small hand muscles. This will help the child to hold a pencil when he starts coloring or writing during school. Hand and eye co-ordination will improve as he pushes the string through the hole. Concentration, perseverance and thinking are required for this activity. While forming a regular pattern with the beads and sorting the beads by different shapes and sizes, the child will also learn pre-maths skills.

Scissor Cutting

Children are naturally drawn to tools that are off-limits! They find scissors to be an attractive tool and enjoy cutting with it, sometimes even cutting hair and clothing, besides paper. That is why, in the Montessori classrooms, young children are acquainted with the proper use of scissors and are taught basic cutting skills. The tone for safety is set right from the start. Kids are provided a demonstration of how to hold the scissors properly and also warned about the repercussions of not handling the scissors carefully.

The cutting activities in a Montessori classroom range from cutting playdough or yarn to little snips of paper to creating unique paper crafts! Children take pleasure in being able to use their cutting skills for artistic expression.

What are they learning while they play?

Children develop fine motor skills and strengthen the small muscles in their hand which are used for writing, painting and gripping objects. Cutting improves hand-eye coordination and bilateral coordination as the child uses both hands at the same time with each hand performing a separate task. Scissor cutting takes a tremendous amount of accuracy and patience and requires an incredible amount of coordination.

At Little Newton International Montessori in Chandra Layout (Vijayanagar), children develop small muscle skills with these easy activities. To know more on how these activities and Montessori education can help your child, feel free to reach out to us at +91 9900546957 or write to us at

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