Fine motor skills help students develop and strengthen the small muscles in their hands, fingers, and thumbs to complete tasks such as writing, cutting, buttoning, zippering, and many life skills. The development of fine motor skills are important for completing tasks throughout our daily lives. It is very important for students to have the opportunity to work on these skills every day. Each morning students unpack and walk over to the fine motor station to choose from a variety activities based on classroom themes and season. These activities are a great way to regulate and engage students as well as strengthen some of these skills. They are also highly motivating and can be done individually, with a peer, or small group. It is also a great way to spend down time in the classroom.
5 Fun Springtime Fine Motor Activities
2. Easter Egg Sorting
3. Yarn Wrapped Tulips
4. Egg Counting Hole Punch Activity
5. Rainbow Patterning
Sam Losurdo, Teacher, Celebrate the Children
The Nurtured Heart Award
Watching the Oscars, we saw many talented actors recognized for their great work. It got us thinking... Although daily life does not dole out awards, it is important to recognize the accomplishments from small gains to major milestones in our children/students to even ourselves! Celebrate the Children's core value is to "celebrate" the child. But how do we do that on a daily basis? How do we empower our children by building their self-esteem? How do we do this for ourselves as caregivers? How do we keep a positive outlook with our glasses half-full or better yet knowing we will have the opportunity to refill it?
It is important to nurture our children but also ourselves during this journey. From the Nurtured Heart Approach by Howard Glasser, here are a few ways we can give recognition to our children:
1. Active Recognition also described as "Kodak moments" - providing a verbal snapshot of what you observed. (i.e., "I see you...”). Catch them in the moment!
2. Experimental Recognition also described as "Polaroid Moments" - providing verbal feedback of what you see and what it says about the person. (i.e., "I see you... and what that shows me is that you are ...")
3. Proactive Recognition also described as "Cannon moments" - recognizes the rules not broken. (i.e., "I am impressed that you ... instead of ..... That really takes control to make a choice like that!").
4. Creative Recognition- creating success by building the environment for the child to start succeeding! This sets a culture of building and supporting the process while the child learns to get to the end goal. Start with simple doable tasks (i.e., "I need you to do...." then recognize).
We thank the Nurtured Heart Approach in broadening our positive self-esteem toolbox which builds a person's "inner wealth". We are thankful for our dedicated parents who collaborate and advocate for their child's needs. We would like to challenge all the caregivers, staff and parents including ourselves, to nurture a child's heart as well as their own heart! For our nurturing caregivers who model advocacy on a lifelong mission of supporting their child with the goal of empowering their child and believing in them, we hope these tools become an everyday resource. Each day, practice the above tools of recognition on your child and self. As we reflect, although the Oscars are a great accomplishment, the inner wealth gained from our supportive community that we have had the pleasure to work for has enriched us so much more!
Resource: Nutured Heart Approach- Howard Glasser-
-Student and Family Support Services, Celebrate the Children
Contributions to this blog are made by Celebrate the Children's highly talented, interdisciplinary team and wonderful families.