Helping to build motor skills

Use these techniques in a fun way, without pressure, and your child is sure to enjoy them and come back for more. 1. Tie a balloon to a fairly short piece of string. Hold on to the end of the string and bat the inflated balloon back and forth with your hand. Extend the length of string, hit back and forth to a partner, without letting it touch the floor. 2. Put pegs around an (empty) ice-cream container or old tin with thin, smooth edge. How many can you peg on your clothes? Help Mum peg out the washing, doll’s or teddy bear’s clothes. 3. Tidy Mum’s sewing basket. Rewind the cottons and roll up the wool. Make pompoms (big, small, rainbow, for hats, clown noses and buttons). Sew buttons on to strips of material.

Draw pictures on to cardboard, punch holes and sew around. 4. Suspend a tennis ball on elastic from a tree limb, verandah or monkey bar, and practise hitting with a cheap, light bat. 5. Play with a yoyo, winding up the string, dropping and returning yoyo to hand. 6. Play hand soccer by rolling a tennis ball around the floor, aiming between two objects, like tins or mugs, for goals. Toss ball from hand to hand. Pass the ball from hand to hand around tummy, legs and then in reverse direction. 7. Play tiddly winks. Aim into saucer, bowl, cup. 8. Roll marbles. Push, drop down pipes and tubes. 9. Bounce a tennis ball and catch it in a small container. 10. Hammer nails. 11. Thread buttons. 12. Knit. 13. Build with Lego, manipulative toys, nuts and bolts. 14. Decorate cakes with sultanas, small pieces of chocolate, silver cachous. 15. Fold paper — origami and paper planes. 16. Dismantle old appliances to see how they work (watch your telephone and TV set!). Get some old phones from Telecom, record players and so on. Pull them to bits — unscrew, unwind, twist off. It’s amazing how many parts make up a telephone. 17. Plant seeds and flowers.