‘Basics of Fine Motor Skills’ by Heather Greutman

Parenting Reads!

Book Review Basics of Fine Motor Skills by Heather Greutman, a parenting good read book

“Research suggests that fine motor skills are so important that they are connected to how a child learns to read, complete math problems, and other higher-level cognitive thinking”, an excerpt from the book ‘Basics of Fine Motor Skills’ by Occupational Therapist (OT) Heather Greutman is a self-help resource (in Education & Teaching category) for parents, teachers & therapists. It is a thin book with small chapters, and it has only 90 pages, but this book gives a plethora of information on the subject- fine motor skills.

It is a go-to resource for understanding fine motor skills in-depth, to keep up with the developmental milestones on fine motor skills, for ideas on creative games, tools and fun activities. As a parent, we literally run out of ideas or resources, because parenting journey can be overwhelming at times. As mentioned above, it has easy to read small chapters but has quite a few technical jargons in the chapters. So, read mindfully at one go (if possible) and keep a tab on the jargons, because some of the terms (like proprioception, in-hand manipulation etc.) have been mentioned before but explained in the later chapters. Also, a few chapters from this book, you’d want to refer time and again for your little ones (ages: new-born through 6+).

A little insight on a few chapters goes like this…

Chapter-6 ‘Fine Motor Development Red Flags’ was overly technical for me. Though I enjoy reading technical stuff more, but I was only gliding through this chapter. Chapter-8 mentions a list of things/tools/items to keep handy or arrange beforehand to carry out the fine motor skills activities at home. So to say, one-time preparation for the rest of the fine motor development journey with your little learner. This 2-page chapter also suggests game ideas. Chapter-9 outlines list of activities by skills such as gross motor skills, visual motor skills, handwriting and pre-writing skills. It begins with warm up activities for shoulders and fingers to prepare a child for fine motor activities and handwriting skills which is interesting, alike the warm-up exercises we grown-ups follow to flex or prep up our body before the main exercise regime.  Since I have the eBook version of this book so, chapters 8 & 9, I have taken the print outs to refer regularly. ‘Activities Ideas by Age’ chapter-10 & ‘Developmental Milestones’ chapter-5, I revisit on a timely manner for age group activities and milestones’ references, respectively. So, this time around to write my reviews of this book, I have checked/unchecked a few fine motor activity ideas listed under Ages 3-6 years for my son, Pratham.

The interesting part of this book was learning about three more senses, beyond the typical 5 senses we all know. Discovering all the 8 sensory systems was certainly helpful and exciting in the chapter-4- Sensory Processing and Fine Motor Skills.

Chapter-7 discusses the difference between handwriting skills and fine motor skills. Heather Greutman mentions that Handwriting skills is a complex language expression skill which requires the overall integration of all skills such as gross motor skills, fine motor skills, visual motor skills and sensory processing skills, to have a mastery in handwriting. Handwriting difficulty in a child does not always stem from fine motor skills difficulties alone. So, she suggests it is highly recommended to get a child assessed by a professional (like Occupational Therapists, OT), if a child is really struggling with a skill or two.

For those who like reading books cover-to-cover (as I do), I would like to say this book can turn out to be technical. So, read the book for your knowledge base on fine motor skills and to be able to understand your young one’s development better and also to reap the benefits of a structured list of activities, games and milestones crucial for the young one’s development.

So, I’d like to close this book review with a poem by me, and here it goes…

Raising a child is simple enough you may say
A glide through a joy ride, hurray!
Trust me, my friend an unpleasant game it is sometimes.
Study, unlearn, learn
Still falling short on ideas & thoughts you feel…
Parenting is a conscious and instinctive indulgence.
You may or may not enjoy it sometimes,
But then learning such skills, it needs.
Ask me I have tried it.

Read.Raise.Rise. Happy Parenting!

“Narratives by She Narrates”: My 4-Year-Old’s Engaging World

“NARRATIVES BY Pallavi Prakash Kumar SHE NARRATES”: MY 4-YEAR-YOUNG Pratham's ENGAGING WORLD- Lego blocks video and activity

The world of our children is nowhere near the practicalities we grown-ups feel drawn towards; it is rather filled with imagination, excitement, enthusiasm, and constant dynamism! 

No wonder, you’ll never find a child doing nothing! They are constantly engaged in one thing or the other. In my observance with Pratham and his friends, there are three things that kids like doing, most of the time. They are either 1) Building something or 2) Role-playing or 3) Storytelling.

I have tried secretly recording Pratham engaged in his activities- Lego blocks activities. Join me for a tour of his world (and the insights I could draw)! 

Video 1: Pratham – The Little, yet Brave Firefighter

This day, Pratham had made a fire-truck model with the Lego bricks sets he has, jointly playing the role of a firefighter/fireman.
Certainly, this way, teaching him about the roles of different people in our communities becomes easy.

Did you notice how a science concept like lever and fulcrum can become easy to explain to a child now? He has made a simple lever pivoted on the inline 360 rotating wheels acting as a fulcrum, as per his qualitative science knowledge he has.

He is also exhibiting his social skills when he says “when fire moves out, he is helping each other friends”. He is also instructing the (imaginary) people around when he says “Be careful, guys!” in this video.

If playtime can help our children learn so much with sub-conscious efforts, what more can we ask for! And the versatility Lego brings in cannot be appreciated enough. Today he is a firefighter, tomorrow he will be designing cars, and the day after maybe robots, the possibilities are endless, just like his imagination!

Video 2: Pratham – The Inquisitive Space Scientist

Another day, another adventure! This day, Pratham built a rocket using his Lego blocks. His eyes light up as he says ‘It’s a rocket. It goes to the moon!’. He takes pride in his creation and enthusiastically demonstrates how fast the rocket goes up.

Simple Lego activities like these make learning so much fun. Not only these help in refining motor skills but also help to build confidence and stimulate imagination and creativity. Watch out Elon Musk! 

Happy Lego building time!