The Growth and Giggles Blog

Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.

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Physical Development

Ideas for developing coordination, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, flexibility, and strength in your preschooler.

Crab Walk, Arches (Bridges), and Backbends Kids like moving their bodies! Here are three fun activities that build flexibility, balance, strength, and coordination. Safety Tip: Remember, do not force yourself (or children) to flex farther than is comfortable, with a slight pulling feeling in the muscles. Hold the stretch, then gently stretch a bit further. Never force a stretch. Crab walk: Have children sit with their knees bent, feet flat on the floor in front of them, feet apart. Next show them how to place their hands down by their sides, but slightly behind their backs. Then, they can raise their hips off the floor. Now they can walk forward, backward, and sideways, pretending to be crabs. Arches: Have the children lie on their backs. Help them place their hands on either side of their head beside their ears. Their fingers point back toward their shoulders. Help them place their feet flat on the floor near...
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Teach Your Child to Use Scissors Bouncing spirals hanging from the ceiling fan. Paper dolls. Hula skirts for toys. Fringed placemats. Paper-plate angels. Toilet-paper-tube puppets. When you know how to use scissors, you can make the best crafts! So how do you teach the skills necessary for all those fun crafts? Introduce the Scissors Show your child a pair of safe scissors. Tell him it’s like a little bird. The finger holes are the wings, and the blades are the mouth. You can make the bird flap its wings, and then it can open and close its mouth. Teach a Proper Grip Have the child put his thumb in the top hole and fingers on the bottom. A lot of kids try to put their thumbs on top. While they might be able to maneuver this initially, it won’t work at all when they try to cut around curves or cut more complicated shapes. So be sure...
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Teaching Your Child Ball Skills—Part 1: Catching Did you know that you can work with a newborn on ball skills? Ok, she’s not going to be playing catch with you right away, but playing ball involves a complex group of skills, some of which you can be helping your child develop from infancy. Here is a sequence of activities that you can work on with your child as she grows to help her develop coordination, strength, and motor skills that will benefit her all her life. Two notes: as with all activities, stop before your child gets bored or tired. Very short spurts of these activities are fine—in fact, great! Second, if your child is not a baby any more, it’s not too late! You can still play these games together and use many of the same activities to teach a preschooler or elementary schooler to catch. 1. Tracking with the eyes. You know the saying, “Keep your...
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