Alex Gwen Thomson 
Article Title
Developing Children's Motor Skills 
Posted Date

Parents make so many important choices. Some of those choices are about the toys their children use. Many of today's most popular toys are multi-functionally designed to serve as both entertainment outlets as well as developmental tools. Children benefit so much from the manipulative toys that advance their motor skills that parents and teachers are often amazed at with their progress.

Development of the fine motor skills is well served with toys that require hand and finger movement and eye-hand coordination. Gross motor skills are advanced with toys that require balance and coordination and use of larger muscles. It is often the fine motor skills that benefit the most from today's motivational toys. Various forms of puzzles where pieces must be placed or fit into the proper slot are excellent for finger movements. The bigger the pieces are, the easier the effort will be. As children progress, parents may want to move to smaller pieces.

Here are a few puzzles that can help develop finger skills:

- Busy Cube - for individuals or groups. Kids can develop skills and play together.

- Busy Cube Memory Wall - this wall panel takes up a little space but yields big gains.

- Circle of fun - a compact bench for children to practice their motor skills together.

- Deluxe Busy Cube - combinations of challenging cubes, puzzles, paddle wheels, Tic Tac Toe and Memory games that provide multiple benefits. Drawing is an excellent form of manipulative fine motor skill exercise. Usually children are more comfortable with large, stubby brushes to start. As their skills improve, parents may want to use smaller brushes.

- Magnetic Trace a Letter - learn the letters, learn practiced disciplines and work those fine motor skills in process. Great way to start.

- Write N Wipe Easel - Hang the paper and get the brushes and away they go. Lets the imagination go wild and can be erased easily. Working or playing with blocks takes a certain parental-child patience. The kids will be happier with bigger blocks to start. The larger the block is, the easier it is to control them. As progress is made, work smaller blocks into the equation. Parents will notice motor skill improvement quickly.

- Abel Block Sets - these safe blocks are for young children. Sets consist of 50 blocks in four shapes and are suited for balancing. A terrific exercise for patience and fine motor skills.

- Octagon Creative Blocks - 50 building blocks that can be used for many new challenges. Large motor skills are improved through more active pursuits. Activities that encourage running, climbing, hopping and ball play are excellent exercises. Movements may start out slowly and as the activities become familiar, the progress can become starting. Children learn fast and with practice gross motor skills improve dramatically.

- The Playsystem - a hex shaped platform features a play event off every side. For climbing, jumping, swinging and all sorts of gross motor skill development. Kids love the fun and the exercise.

- Extreme Obstacle Course - a more challenging series of events for children with basic gross motor skills. Time spent on the course will strengthen the body and increase the skills.

- Fitness Center - The safe way to improve the climbing, pulling straddling and jumping skills. This sturdy fitness center is perfect for a variety of new exercise skills. Coordinating those large and small muscles can require training. That is why athletes practice and continually sharpen skills.

Children need to develop both the fine and gross motor skills and parents should not be overly concerned if challenges arise. Development of the motor skills is a natural progression. Address them through the use of today's new-age toys and a win-win situation will result.

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