Children who struggle with motor skills in preschool and kindergarten may feel discouraged and frustrated because their fingers and hands may not be ready to perform adequately to accomplish the tasks that their peers find easier to manage.
Some of the most interesting skills children learn are those associated with fine motor movements like those involved in stacking objects, folding paper, stringing beads, closing zippers, cutting with scissors, holding a pencil, fastening buttons and snaps, picking up coins and dropping them into a slot.
It's important that children understand that eventually they will be able to plan and carry out the movements that they find most difficult, and until that time, there are alternative ways to reach the ends they want.
Always working on the tasks that are most difficult for them is not fair to children who have no time scheduled for those efforts that easily bring perfect results. To understand some of the difficulties our children may experience, try cutting out a flower shape holding scissors in your left (or other) hand, or hold them upside down.
It's important to find a balance between the two extremes so that our children understand that they are just fine at whatever level their physical, intellectual and emotional development finds them, and that they are entitled to any ambition that wells up inside them.
There are toys, game and pastimes, as well as tools and strategies, that help children with fine motor delays move along to greater skills and higher satisfaction. Some children find it difficult to sit at a desk or work at a table, but they may enjoy working with magnets on a refrigerator or paper on an easel. Others may feel frustrated cutting paper into strips, but may love slicing up clay snakes with scissors, digging for small treasures hidden in a tub of dry oatmeal or beans with their fingers, and moving objects with tweezers or tongs.
There are wonderful books and resources available that are full of fresh ideas to help our children achieve developmental milestones and fine motor skills that may seem out of reach one day but a few weeks later are distant memories of frustration. Others give excellent suggestions for small accommodations and supports that allow our children to complete difficult tasks with the same ease as their mainstream peers.
Search at Amazon.com for toys, games and books about helping children develop fine motor skills like the Kumon First Steps Workbooks: Let's Color, Let's Fold, Let's Sticker and Paste, and Kumon First Book of Tracing.