School term is here! The first year at school is a huge step for parents and children. Because there are so many practical necessities to learn, it's great if you can give your child the foundation skills before they start. And they aren't learning the letters :) My favourite 5 are:
1. PRACTICE PINCER GRIP: have your child pinching thumb and pointer finger together using activities such as pegging clothes pegs, pinching play doh, picking up beads. Make sure their last 3 fingers are tucked in!
2. STRENGTHEN THE UPPER LIMB: We can't do fine motor movements such as handwriting unless we have a solid base from which to move! To strengthen the upper limb try: wheelbarrow walks (remember to support at the knees), animal walks, crawling games, wall pushes. These are also great bonding activities
3. DEVELOP SOCIAL AWARENESS: Focus on developing your child's theory of mind (putting themselves in other's shoes). "How do you think he/she is feeling" "why do you think he did that?" "what would you do if that happened?"
4. BILATERAL COORDINATION: Do some lateral exercises: opposite elbow to knee, crawling, star jumps, scissor jumps, ski jumps, windmills. If both sides of the body are working together the child is set for reading, writing, using hands together for cutting :)
5. SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME TOGETHER: Play is the most important ingredient for regulation (having a nervous system that can cope with everything thrown at it). Pushing your child's nervous system out of its normal zones is great in play such as tickling, chasing, hiding, monster's, quicksand, jumping. Play tackles scary topics for a reason, if your child is comfortable and enjoying themselves build on their lead and give their nervous system a workout so they are ready for whatever real life throws at them.