Using your hands, a powerful learning tool

According to developmental experts, manual dexterity is directly tied to cognitive development. “It’s through her hands that your baby demonstrates the link between thought and action,” says Rhoda Erhardt, a paediatric occupational therapist in who specializes in hand function. That’s why it’s important to track your child’s hand development and encourage her fine motor skills.

Before reaching 12 months your baby will practise all the new skills as he acquires them, he’ll reach for, grab, and mouth his favourites. He’ll also begin to grab his own hands and feet and transfer objects from hand to hand. Banging, shaking, dropping, and even throwing toys are all routine play.

By 9 months your child’s pincer skills will develop. She will not only be able to feed herself but also have the skill to grip a selected Cheerio between her thumb and forefinger.

Encouraging your baby to use these skills is important and a great opportunity to introduce a second language too.

For younger babies clapping hand games are always a winner, you can clap together and make up a rhythm to say the word for ‘hands’ in a second language with the sound they make: ‘clap, clap, clap’

Getting messy and letting your baby trace with hands and fingers in paint or sand is a great fine motor skill training.

Once they have mastered their pincer skills, you can start using chunky crayons to colour in pictures of things they like.  Scribbling, banging the crayon is good fun, great practise and you can use this opportunity to say the name of the picture in a second language as well as practising colours.

Putting cherries in bowls or poking holes can be used to practise numbers.

By this age they can point to the toy they want, another chance to introduce the name of the toy in a second language, the train, the ball, the car? The monkey?

Children love play dough; vocabulary, colours, shapes can be learned and practised as well as being an all rounder activity ticking all the boxes: fun, sensory, creative and fine motor skill developer!

You don’t have to be fluent in another language, it is just adding an extra layer of brain training.







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