Encouraging fine motor skills in kids - making 3D hands

Recently our local paper - the Cairns Post, ran an article about kids losing their fine motor skills as a result of using computers and swipe screens rather than writing.

There are kids that are going to occupational therapy classes to learn fine motor skills and handwriting. A teacher of these classes in Cairns said,

"90 per cent of her students, the majority of whom were under nine, had handwriting problems as a result of the over-use of technology."

Now while I do believe it is vitally important that kids learn how to use computers and technology in this fast developing world, they do still need to learn to write, and use those fine motor skills that begin to develop in early childhood with manipulating toys, drawing, playing with blocks, lego, dolls, etc.  

You can find virtually every kind of game on computers, tablets and mobile phones now, from drawing to building games and much much more. This makes it convenient for parents to entertain their kids in any space -  at home or out and about, without having a mess to clear up, or to find materials or toys necessary for the activity. 

However, this also means that kids are missing out on an important part of their physical and mental development.

I saw a funny French advert recently - where a husband is frustrated with his wife for not using her tablet to do everyday things like drawing with their kid, writing notes, or reading a book - but it makes a good point at the end... 

So here's a simple and fun thing to do with your kids that uses their fine motor skills. All you need is pens/pencils and paper.

Make your own 3D Hands

A while ago I found the instructions for making these pictures on Pinterest. It's very simple - you can see an instructional video here.

Basically you draw around your hand on a piece of paper, then draw lines across the page, making an upwards curve inside the outline of your hand and fingers. Then colour in between the lines.

It was a great thing to do with the kids on the spur of the moment - using scrap paper and pens and pencils, and needs very little space!

We found that more lines closer together produced a better effect..

Such a neat thing to do!

Our younger daughter then wondered if you could do the same with curved lines outside the hand and straight inside. I'm not how that would look- but you could draw the curves going down instead of up to make it look like a sunken rather than a raised hand!

It's good to get kids to do activities like this with pens and paper. It takes no preparation, only pens/pencils and paper, and can be done with almost any age kid - (or adult - I enjoyed doing this myself!)

Have you ever tried these 3D hands?  Do your kids use technology too much? Or do you encourage them to do other more tangible an physical activities with their hands too?

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