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A playful approach to encourage building skills in your child

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

At this age, your child will be exploring and learning more through play. You would have noticed that your child is now running, climbing, hopping, throwing, catching, kicking, and balancing on one foot with ease. Your child’s mastery of fine motor skills will allow him greater independence at this stage.



    Here are some of the skills your child will perfect in the preschool years:

    -Walk up and down the stairs without help

    -Pedal a tricycle

    -Walk forward and backward comfortably

    -Stack 10 or more blocks

    -Stand on one foot for more than 7 seconds

    -Do a somersault and hop

    -Button his shirt on his own, undress and take care of other personal needs without much help

    -Draw by copying a triangle, circle, square, and other shapes

    -Use a spoon and fork

    -Use a child-safe scissors

    -Write his name and some letters

    -Pinch and shape clay or play-dough into recognizable objects.

    Building skills of your child

    Another area of development to encourage your child for is the use of hands or the fine motor skills, also known as ‘building skills.’ Just as gross motor skills enable your champ to perform significant activities of the day like getting out of the bed, climbing the stairs for preschool, building skills enable your child for a list of activities. These are essential for increasing independence in smaller but equally important matters like opening the doors, brushing the teeth, washing hands, zipping zippers, etc.

    When the increasing hand-eye coordination combines, the fine motor skills open new doors to exploration, learning, and creative expressions.

    Research shows that emphasis on purely intellectual activities like memorization of letters, numbers is far less useful at this stage than the pursuit that encourages fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills.

    The best way to help your little one promote these and other hand-related skills is to provide him with a wide range of materials to use as his imagination commands.

    The perfect choices are blocks–the interlocking types like magnetic blocks, Legos, Tinker toys, bristle blocks, construction straws, non-toxic crayons, washable markers, paints, pastel colours, glue, paste, an easel, construction paper, modelling clay, child-safe scissors, an apron to guard from staining, colouring books. This is also the right time for puzzles, musical instruments, sand and water toys.

    Some of the playful approaches to encourage building skills in your child are:

    Build on basic skills

    As your child’s efficiency improves, encourage him to use both his hands to do new tasks like threading wooden beads, O shaped cereals, fryums of different shapes, and colors with jute thread or yarn.

    Boost your child’s filling and dumping craze

    Your child is likely to load every toy into the box only to spill it out and start over again. This activity takes integrated muscle movements, concentration, and cognitive reasoning. Other activities to encourage finger strength and grip are - locating the toys that are buried in sand, squeezing a wet sponge, etc.

    Begin the stacking

    Your child needs hand and wrist stability to place the blocks with control. Large wooden blocks are the easiest to handle. Once he gets the hang of it, you can switch to smaller building materials like interlocking bricks.

    Teach the pincer grasp

    Support your child’s ability to pick up small items using his thumb and forefinger. Provide a baby-wipe container stuffed with scarves and encourage your child to pull them out and appreciate his efforts through applause. Let him fix the Legos in the stand, which also strengthens the pincer grasp.

    Grandma’s Tip: Promote creativity in your child. Provide room to exhibit his creativity through crayons, paints, and water. It will be a great fun to hold the crayons and scribble on the canvas or smear the paints to express his feelings. The Legos bricks and the mechanic set too will boost his imagination and creativity skills. Don't be too worried if this results in him creating a mess. Sometimes, messy is necessary for the better development of the little one!

    Tolerate the little one’s activities with the utensils

    Your child may have a desire to research with kitchen appliances like pots and pans. Inspire him with these utensils and you will be amazed at his observation, like closing the right lid to the pan, placing the plates one above the other, arranging the smaller utensils into larger ones, and much more.

    Appreciate every work of your child and encourage him to speak his mind or explain in his own words about what he felt and what he was thinking while he was making it. This makes real sense that you are really concerned with what he does and his work is admired.

    These activities boost many learning experiences in your child. They encourage important things like handling materials physically and molding them, building up his fine motor skills and coordination.

    This set of techniques is the purest sense of exploratory learning for your child as it is open-ended, disorganized, and not product- oriented. It offers the opportunity for self-expression because there is no perfect answer and your child feels safe to change or experiment with what he is doing.

    Laughter, fun, and enjoyment through activities provide opportunities for developing building skills in your child.

    Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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