There are numerous ways of keeping your children engaged and organized and their bodies receiving the sensory processing input they require. Chores are a great way to build fine motor skills and they're ideal because kids understand purpose and routine. Plus, chores often involve whole-body movements, tactile perception, and fine motor skills that can be adapted to the ability level of your child.
Your child's pediatric occupational therapist may encourage you to get your child involved in daily chores around your home to improve their development and fine motor skills.
Both yard work and household chores promote certain developmental skills helping to facilitate your child's self-esteem and independence. They also offer various opportunities for the sensory experiences and motor planning necessary for building higher-level skills required to be successful in everyday life.
You can increase hand strength, fine motor coordination, and tactile processing through chores like:
- Watering plants using a spray bottle
- Feeding pets
- Folding laundry
- Hanging laundry using clothespins
- Washing the dishes
- Wringing out the sponge
- Washing the car
- Pulling weeds
- Sweeping the floor
- Removing sheets and pillowcases from the bed
- Making the bed
- Raking leaves
- Shoveling light snow
- Washing windows
- Matching socks
- Setting the table
You can provide them with cooking activities that can help offer rich visual, touch, and aromatic experiences they need for positive everyday skills. These activities can also help build finger dexterity, grip, pinch strength, and coordination.
Fun types of activities for little hands are:
- Rinsing and tearing lettuce for salads
- Peeling a banana or orange
- Pinching small candies to sprinkle on cookies
- Mixing ingredients
- Kneading dough
- Scooping objects
- Picking up food items
- Opening and closing containers and packages
Children can begin taking on small tasks and household chores as early as two years old. And it can be ongoing, since there are chores your children can perform to help them reach their next milestone.