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    Playing helps develop fine-motor skills
    Young children learn through play and through engaging in age-appropriate preschool activities. Children develop in predictable stages, so a child must have the prerequisite fine-motor skills necessary to use his wrists and hands properly and effectively before he can write. Fine-motor is usually defined as the ability to coordinate the action of the eyes and hands together in performing precise manipulative movements. Skills learned and mastered through activities supporting development of fine-motor skills include developing hand strength, directional movement patterns, and effective hand position, which in turn facilitate making lines, letters, and shapes.

    Every child will acquire the fine-motor skills needed for writing in a different time table. Activities that support young children's fine motor development help build the strength and dexterity (quick and precise movements and coordination of the hands and fingers) necessary to hold a pencil appropriately. The more a preschool child uses her fingers in activities that help to strengthen hand coordination, the sooner she will master the skills needed for writing.


    Suggested materials and activities to support fine-motor development:


    • Rolling play dough into tiny balls using the palms of the hands facing each other and using only the finger tips
    • Giving children a pair of tweezers and provide two bowls with small items and challenge them to get all the items from one bowl to another using only the tweezers
    • Tearing newspaper into strips and then crumpling them into balls
    • Lacing and sewing activities, such as stringing beads or lacing cards
    • Using eye droppers to "pick up" water
    • Playing with Legos, miniature cars, small blocks, action figures, and other small toys
    • Rolling small balls out of tissue paper then gluing the balls onto construction paper to form pictures or designs
    • Using scissors and tracing stencils
    • Painting at the easel; finger painting
    • Putting puzzles together
     Above all, have fun with your children and remember that PLAY is a child’s work!
    (from the Pre-K Teaching Times; Volume 7 Issue 4 November 2010, page 5)
    Become Your Child’s Partner in Reading!
    Read to Your Child Each Day!
    Did You Know?


    Young children who have good vocabularies and who are taught early reading skills before they start school are more likely to become good readers and achieve academic success throughout their school careers.

     Betty Hart and Todd Risley (1984) conducted a study on children and noted that by the time children are three years old, there is a major difference in the vocabularies of certain groups of children.

     Cumulative Vocabulary (Hart & Risley)

    Group A Children

    500 words

    Group B Children

    700 words

    Group C Children

    1,100 words

    The Carnegie Institute found that only half of infants and toddlers are read to by their parents.  Reading to your child each day can help to increase your child’s vocabulary considerably and can give your child a great start before starting school.

     Make sure you have a print-rich environment in your home.  Check out books at the library for your child to read.  Go to the dollar store and buy books for your child to read.  Place books in a crate or box or on book shelves in the home so that children can reach them with ease.

     Place your child on your lap and read to him/her each day.  Not only are you developing critical skills your child will need before school starts, you are also creating a nurturing environment that lends itself to bonding with your child.

     Start by reading nursery rhymes to your child each and every day.  Research tells us that children who can recite at least two nursery rhymes by the time they reach kindergarten have the potential to become very good readers.  Pretty soon, you will notice that your child can recite these nursery rhymes without your help.  Here are two simple nursery rhymes you can start with:

    Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
    How I wonder what you are.
    Up above the world so high,
    Like a diamond in the sky.
    Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
    How I wonder what you are.
    Or, for older preschool children try this:

     1,  2,  Buckle my shoe;

     3  ,4    Shut the door;

     5,  6   Pick up the sticks;

     7,  8    Lay them straight;

     9,  10   A big fat hen.

     Make up your own rhymes with your child as you go about your day.  How about, “the cat in the hat had fun in the sun”!

    Do you want to do your part in helping to prepare your child for kindergarten?
    Parents play a critical role in the language and intellectual development of their children.  The following study shows the results of talking to children often:
           Cumulative Vocabulary Experiences in Everyday Interactions at Home 



    Average words heard per hour

    Words heard in a 100 hour week

    Words heard in a 5,200 hour year

    Number of words heard by age 3

    Group A



    3 million

    10 million

    Group B



    6 million

    20 million

    Group C



    11 million

    30 million*



           Hart, B. & Risley, T.R. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company. (p.132)
    *The children in Group C will have a distinct advantage upon entering kindergarten.  Young children who have good vocabularies and who are taught early reading skills before they start school are more likely to become good readers and achieve academic success throughout their school careers.
    Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk to your child EVERYDAY...ALL DAY!