In each kindergarten classrom at Cole Elementary, little fingers are getting a workout. That's because part of the school day includes fine motor skills exercises. Named "Fine Motor Boot Camp", this initiative, with supplies funded in part by a Public Schools Foundations grant several years ago, teaches kindergarten students to fine tune and in some cases strengthen the little muscles in their hands and fingers. Students may be asked to navigate a shoe lace through holes or use tweezers to place a marble or a puff ball on a golf tee. What the kindergarten teachers have found is that a little emphasis now makes a huge difference later in terms of a child's ability to hold a pencil properly or even manipulate a pair of scissors. While the variety of exercises is fun for the students, it also is teaching them to fine tune skills.
"We have found that over the years our students have come to us with some deficit areas in the category of fine motor skills. This deficit is often something that is an off-shoot of a changing childhood that includes more electronics and less 'belly time' where students are manipulating their fingers through pinching, drawing, and cutting. We have found great success with this program and have realized that if early intervention can occur, we can really set our students off on a positive journey that will assist them into the future.," explained Cole Principal, Mike PInto.
While the Fine Motor Boot Camp will slow in its emphasis after the first three weeks of school, the priority of maintaining good habits continues all year long in the kindergarten classrooms. Parents and grandparents can get in on the fun by having their children use scissors to create projects and using tweezers to pick up small objects. In all cases, make the experiences fun.