Fine Motor Skills in Teenagers
Children learn and develop fine motor skills from infancy, and by the time a child reaches adolescence, he should be able to use his small hand muscles to accomplish daily tasks such as dressing himself, brushing his teeth and writing with a pencil 2. Other opportunities to improve fine motor skills will help teens develop muscle strength and coordination, which will prepare them for advanced or specialized fine motor skills.
Art provides an enjoyable way for teens to strengthen and refine fine motor skills while encouraging other areas of development, such as creative thinking skills. Any art activity that requires manipulation of small tools -- paintbrushes and modeling tools, for example -- promotes small hand muscle strength and coordination. Encourage teens to work directly with their hands and use their fingers as instruments with sculpting, finger-painting and pastel activities.
Music is a language that evokes emotion and passion in listeners around the world. Learning how to play an instrument and create music is an engaging, rewarding challenge for many teens. It also promotes advanced fine motor skills 2. Whether your teen decides to pick up a guitar, learn the piano or play the oboe, she will improve and strengthen fine muscle coordination through fingering the fret board, keys or holes.
Writing isn’t a favorite activity for many teens, but it is an essential developmental skill that should be practiced regularly. Not only does writing foster critical skills, creative thinking abilities and language development, it also strengthens fine motor skills -- whether by striking keys on a keyboard or doing it the old-fashioned way, with a pen and pencil. Engage teens in simple, enjoyable writing activities to promote fine motor and cognitive development. Start a story and challenge a group of teens to each contribute a couple paragraphs to it. Encourage teens to write a letter to a politician, artist or other person of interest. Or, simply ask your teen to write about something that interests and excites him, such as a sport or hobby.
Introduce your teen to other activities that promote fine motor development and coordination such as small model building or sewing. Get the whole family involved by completing puzzles, playing board games or having video game competitions together -- all of which promote fine motor development -- during family game night. Making friendship bracelets, braiding hair, and even thumb wrestling are ordinary teen activities that also contribute to fine motor skills.
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