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Development of fine motor skills of kids 3-4yo

The development of fine motor skills of children of 3-4 years old helps not only to improve the coordination skills of the kid but also contributes to the formation of beautiful and clear speech. One of the teachers and young kid development researchers said that the children mind lives at the tips of their fingers. And this beautiful metaphor has a lot of scientific explanations. Psychological research has shown that the development of finger dexterity has a beneficial effect on almost all thought processes – speech, memory, attentiveness, etc.

So will consider how we can promote and support our kids at this age?

Development games which improve kids’ fine motor skills have been already understandable for them in this age but any new information should be provided in an accessible game form.

For the development of motor skills, teachers recommend paying attention to the following types of activities:

  1. “Circle the subject.” This exercise not only improves the fine motor skills of both hands but also develops the child’s artistic abilities. The task is very simple – ask the child to circle around the contour of any suitable object, for example, your own palm, the bottom of a glass, etc.
  2. Finger theater. The development of fine motor skills in this age should be accompanied by an exciting game because at this age, children are no longer interested in simply sorting or pouring objects. Play with the child in the finger theater, which will permanently draw the attention. Finger toys can be sewn independently or you can buy a ready-made set. Coming up with actions for your character, the kid will train his fingers well, making them more flexible and agile.
  3. Snowflakes and paper figurines. In 3-4 years, the child already knows how to use scissors, so it’s time to teach him or her to cut snowflakes and paper figures. Finished crafts can be painted with colorful paints, what also has a good effect on the development of fine motor skills.
  4. “Little musician.” Playing musical instruments perfectly develops fine motor skills of hands, and also has a positive effect on the mental processes of the kid. If you did not plan to teach your child music at such an early age – buy him or her a toy instrument (piano, guitar, flute), mastering which will improve the child’s motor skills. In addition, fine motor skills can be developed with the help of other creative activities – drawing, sewing, modeling clay, dough or kinetic sand.
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Sand drawing is not only an unusual kind of art but also an effective and very popular method of art therapy.

Sand therapy as a way of working with the emotional sphere of the child is widely used by psychologists, psychoanalysts, as well as teachers and speech therapists. Today, this activity of pedagogical and creative orientation is available to any family who has an Art Light Activity Table/Box at home.

Sand as a material for sensory and educational games has several advantages. First, it is pleasant to touch it, it helps to relax, relieves emotional tension. Children love to play with loose materials, so it is perfect for activities with kids who do not like to learn at all.

Secondly, this material can be used as a solution to various problems. Drawing with sand helps to develop fine motor skills, sensory, creative thinking; when the kid draws with both hands, it contributes to the development of interhemispheric asymmetry.

Thirdly, the sand eliminates the fear of failure. This is important for children with increased anxiety. And if something does not work, you can always pour the sand and start over.

This activity helps to cognize of the world. A toddler is excited about the creation process of pictures with colored sand because with it helps the child gets acquainted with the texture and shapes of the materials. Dry sand can be even more interested than dry sand.

Esthetic enjoyment. The drawings made with sand are original and beautiful, they can embody all the fantasy of a small author.

Emotional component. Psychologists recommend drawing the whole family. This is a great opportunity to socialize and engage in collective creativity, which will definitely enjoy everyone.

Practice shows that kids who are engaged in sand drawing, not so much exposed to get stressed. During this creative activity, kids relax, get rid of negative thoughts and tension. As a result, the nervous system becomes stronger, sensitivity and aggressiveness disappear.

Sand drawing has an excellent influence on the physical and psychological development of the little artist. Children can create sand pictures at any age. Best of all, if adults join the kids  – to create joint masterpieces.

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How to paint rice for games and crafts 

Turn usual grain into a rainbow! Step-by-step master class on how to properly color rice with food dyes and ideas for using colored rice in sensory games and children’s art: applications, crafts, dry painting.

How to dye rice at home

If you want to get multi-colored cereals for sensory boxes, creativity and educational games, it is recommended to take long-grain white rice, it is harder and stronger.

We suggest three methods of coloring:

Coloring rice with food dyes. As a result, painted grains have a smooth surface and a rich bright color that does not tarnish over time.

Painting rice with gouache. As a result, the croup turns out to be rough and after active games loses its original color.

Painting with natural dyes. These are spinach juice, beets, turmeric, saffron. Naturally colored rice acquires only a light ebb, and making the color brighter is difficult.

For dyeing rice you need:



crockery or ziplock package;


essential oil (optional).

How to paint

Add a little dye to dry rice (not more than ½ tsp per 1 kg of cereals). The amount of dye will depend on the intensity of the color. Dry the dye previously diluted in a few drops of water. Do not add a lot of liquid: this can lead to swelling of the grits. Liquid and gel formulations (gouache) are not diluted with water. Stir the cereal thoroughly. For this, it is convenient to place the mass in a ziplock bag and shake it well.

If you mix it with a spoon in a bowl, in order to avoid painting of your hands, we recommend doing it with gloves.

After put the colored rice on a  sheet of paper and let it dry for several hours. During this time, the dye is absorbed and will not get dirty hands during the game.

If you want the rainbow mass has a pleasant smell, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil while mixing the ingredients.

Ideas for using colored rice

Colored rice is perfect as a filler for sensory boxes. These games will help the child to expand the tactile experience – kids will be able to touch, pour, explore, dig in, dig, search for toys. Using colored rice in applications and crafts, you diversify the creative process. These useful exercises with cereals contribute to the development of children fine motor skills.  Colored rice can be used to decorate the interior.

Drawing with colored rice

Drawing with colored rice is an interesting technique and wonderful leisure for small children. The surface of the picture of the grits is always obtained in relief.

Drawing with your finger over a layer of rice is the simplest technique of drawing with cereals for kids. Pour a layer of rice on a tray with sides, level it.  Let the kids draw with their fingers.  Drawing patterns develop children’s imagination and fine motor skills.

Drawing with “loose” grains – this technique is similar to drawing with sand.

Drawing with grains on modeling clay: cover the cardboard with a thin layer of it, fill the required parts of the picture with rice. It is possible to decorate the individual elements on the finished plasticine picture with a grain texture.