During adolescence, children make tremendous physical, emotional and mental developments. Among the many physical developments they undergo, they learn to control their fine motor skills. Once these skills develop, the child no longer fumbles with small objects like he did as a toddler. Once they are developed, fine motor skills for an 8-year-old allow the child to manipulate objects with his hands more easily.
Fine motor coordination refers to the ability to control the muscles of the hands and fingers when performing small, precise movements. The other component related to fine motor skills involves hand-eye coordination during these precise movements. The FamilyEducation website explains that there are three types of fine motor activities. Bi-manual fine motor activities require the use of both hands, while uni-manual fine motor activities involve only one hand. Graphic fine motor activities involve drawing and handwriting.
Most children learn motor skills simply by interacting with objects in their everyday routine. According to the FamilyEducation website, a child's simple fine motor skills tend to improve drastically from age 4 to 6. From age 5 to 12, more complex motor skills slowly develop. In an effort to encourage development of these motor skills, children often spend a significant amount of time completing fine motor activities at school. However, approximately 12 per cent of children have difficulty perfecting these skills.
Fine Motor Difficulties
If an 8-year-old child is experiencing difficulty with fine motor skill development, specific behaviours can clue you into these developmental problems. She will likely experience clumsiness in her hands, which may cause her to frequently drop or spill things. She will have problems manipulating objects with her fingers, such as shoelaces, button, or other small objects. Her handwriting will likely suffer as a result of improper form and inability to grasp the pencil properly. When attempting to perform fine motor activities, she might become frustrated and angry with muscle tension in the arms and hands.
Fine Motor Exercises
If the 8-year-old child struggles with even the most basic fine motor skills, begin with the most basic fine motor exercises to avoid frustration. Basic exercises include picking up marbles or coins and dropping them into a cup, rolling clay into small balls, turning the pages of a book and tearing paper into thin strips. As these skills improve, introduce more advanced activities like using scissors to cut out shapes, practicing handwriting, tying shoes, buttoning a shirt, putting puzzles together and typing on a keyboard. Advanced fine motor exercises require very small and precise movements. These exercises include putting beads or macaroni onto a string and picking up items with tweezers.