Meagan Forsgren from ILS Learning showed how to do both gross and fine motor activities with your kids during Valentine's week.
Brain-Building Valentines Activities: Midline Crossing, Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Vestibular
Holidays create some of the best opportunities for learning development and learning activities. Here are some great Valentines Day activities and exercises to help your child cross the midline, improve their visual skills for reading, strengthen the use of their fingers and hands for handwriting and pencil grip, and build their vestibular systems, proprioception and muscle tone.
Using fine motor droppers will help your child strengthen their fingers and hands used for handwriting and pencil grip. We especially like to strengthen the thumb and index finger (also known as the pincer grasp) to prepare your child for holding a pencil or for getting them familiar with the process if they have weak hand muscles or poor handwriting.
Your child should be able to peel the tape off the table in this activity with one hand at a time to strengthen their muscles enough for handwriting and pencil grip. If they are young and have not yet established hand-dominance, meaning you don`t know if they are right or left-handed, encourage them to try the activity using both the right and left hands separately. Even though they have not yet established dominance, it will strengthen both hands in preparation for when they are ready to choose which hand they will use for writing.
The heart maze activity is incredibly important and valuable for strengthening your child`s eye muscles and improves their visual planning. Because they have to track the marble with their eyes, this prepares them for tracking words on a page, helps guide their hand movement (writing) using their vision, and improves decoding and recognizing letters along with many other reading benefits.
Heart Balance Beam
The purpose of this activity is to help your child with their vestibular system and balance and coordination. A poor vestibular system is tied to several learning delays and challenges. If your child struggles in school and has developmental delays, poor muscle tone and bad behavior, there is a possibility they may have an under-developed vestibular system.
Activity 1: Midline Crossing with Ribbons
As your child walks across the balance beam have your child take the ribbon sticks and criss-cross them in front of their face alternating right and left arms. This is one way to help your child cross the midline with their arms while improving their vestibular system by walking along the balance beam.
Activity 2: Hula Hoop
While your child is crossing the balance beam, have your child take the hula hoop and put their head through it so it almost touches their shoulders, then have them raise it above their head, and finally bring the hula hoop in front of them with their arms extended. A simple way to remember it is down, up, front.
For more tips and ideas go here.