How to strengthen your child's coordination skills

Boy doing drawings
Handwriting, buttoning, drawing or using a knife and fork… your child’s hands can perform the most amazing array of tasks. We take a look at how you can support the development of your child's movement skills.
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A lot of the time a child’s movement skills work in coordination with their eyes to serve a whole host of dexterity needs, such as dressing and feeding, running and climbing. In the Foundation Stage, there are stepping stones which focus on building up children’s skills and confidence in these types of movements. They develop hand-eye coordination skills through various smaller movement activities such as sewing or modelling, and provide for larger movements such as climbing frames and large construction activities. As your child progresses through the key stages, these skills will be reinforced.

So how can you help your child develop both their smaller and larger motor skills at home?

Fine (smaller) motor skills activities

  • Provide old magazines and scraps of paper to be cut with scissors.
  • Collect old containers, matchsticks and buttons which can be used for small-scale construction.
  • Threading beads on a piece of string is an excellent way to get your child using hand-eye coordination skills.
  • Give your child an exercise book in which they can practise drawing and writing.
  • Painting and modelling are also good for smaller more delicate movements, so you could set up a painting area for your child.

Gross (larger) motor skills activities

  • Make sure your child has regular access to outdoor spaces, such as gardens or parks, and can navigate through the spaces safely.
  • Climbing frames and other outdoor equipment are great ways to get your child using a variety of large movements.
  • Play games with your child such as ‘Stuck in the mud’ or ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf?’
  • Take them roller-skating, bike-riding or skate-boarding – these activities will not only help their gross motor skills but their balance and posture, too.
  • Encourage your child to try dance classes, football club, or any other physical activities they could do after school or at weekends. This will help them learn new movements while under expert supervision.