Our Pediatrician’s office sends out surveys for us to answer prior to some of the big well checks. I just recently got the 24 month surveys to fill out. These surveys are just that- questions. There is no indication on them as to what milestones your child should have reached, but one can only assume they are asking these questions for good reason- and hence, interested in these particular milestones.
As I was reading the survey, I realized that, while I have a lot of fine motor skill activity ideas on my list of things to do, we just haven’t done many of them at this point. Honestly, the weather has been so nice, and we’ve been going outside so often, that we’ve not had moments to do these.
I decided to give one of my activities a shot to see how she’d do. The activity was simple: place a spaghetti noodle in play-doh so it stands up vertically. I then had Caroline stack Cheerios on the noodle. This activity requires steady hands and good focus. It also will give you an idea of their depth perception and eyesight. She did great, and also really enjoyed breaking the noodles as a second activity! We then rolled the play-doh as a third activity. Lots of fun to be had with this activity!
Here are some of the survey questions that dealt with fine motor skills:
Does your child get a spoon into his mouth right side up so that the food usually doesn’t spill?
Does your child turn the pages of a book by herself? (She may turn more than one page at a time.)
Does your child use a turning motion with his hand while trying to turn doorknobs, wind up toys, twist tops, or screw lids on and off jars?
Does your child flip switches off and on?
Does your child stack seven small blocks or toys on top of each other by herself? (You could also use spools of thread, small boxes, or toys that are about 1 inch in size.)
Can your child string small items such as beads, macaroni, or pasta “wagon wheels” onto a string or shoelace?
After watching you draw a line from the top of the paper to the bottom with a crayon (or pencil or pen), does your child copy you by drawing a single line on the paper in any direction? (Mark “not yet” if your child scribbles back and forth.)
After a crumb or Cheerio is dropped into a small, clear bottle, does your child turn the bottle over to dump it out? (Do not show him how.) (You can use a soda-pop bottle or a baby bottle.)
While your child watches, line up four objects like blocks or cars in a row. Does your child copy or imitate you and line up four objects in a row? (You can also use spools of thread, small boxes, or other toys.)
Does your child drink from a cup or glass, putting it down again with little spilling?
When I looked at this list, I realized 3 things:
1. As stated above, I simply wasn’t putting a lot of focus on these skills (other than using a fork/spoon).
2. Caroline has gained most of these skills regardless of my not focusing on them and giving her practice!
3. I apparently need to let her drink from a normal cup! LOL
Can I just say I am in no hurry to go through “cup training”!? I am so glad to have potty training out of the way- there was motivation to be done with diapers. There’s no motivation to be done with sippy cups, however. They are simple, and I don’t have to worry about spills! I have totally dropped the ball on this, and I have to say, I think I’m going to continue to wait this one out. Caroline drinks from the miracle 360 cups, so she’s well on her way to understanding how to drink from a normal cup. We skipped true sippy cups all together and went straight for straw cups and these amazing 360 cups. I think my goal here is to start regular cups when she’s about 2.5 and the weather is nice…maybe we’ll practice outside! And, it’s not that she doesn’t know how to drink if we tip the glass for her… she just doesn’t know how to do it on her own without spilling, yet.
Caroline has gained all of the above skills very readily on her own, through natural play. There have not been a lot of opportunities to thread or lace items, but when she is given the opportunity she does well. She also uses her fork and spoon pretty well at this point, although chooses not to use them depending on the day/mood! Caroline is NOT into drawing. I can get her to try on occasion, but it is short lived. I am now working with her on drawing straight lines/circles. She’s getting better, but this is not her strong suit, because it is not of much interest to her.
I found this list, along with the other questions on behaviors, and gross motor skills, to be quite satisfying to read. Even when you aren’t doing as much as you want to in your daily routines for practice, children learn these skills! So glad we put Pinterest away for awhile and just enjoyed the outdoors. Now that winter is on the way, we’ll probably be back on Pinterest for activity ideas again, in between sledding and making snowballs!
Did I mention that my daughter turns 2 next week!?!??!! Where has the time gone!?