Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Updates on Rachel - motor skills

Babydoll has been working hard on her motor skills! Here are some photos!
I want to show you these photos because they show Rachel doing ordinary and natural tasks. I didn't ask her to do anything or show her how to do it. She did what she wanted to do, in the way that she decided was best.

Here she is, unpacking while I was packing for our trip. She was faster than I was.

Next, ransacking drawers. I let her do this to her heart's content. In addition to feeding her curiousity, I note that she is learning to get her fingers out of the way when closing drawers. If standing while ransacking, she is also learning to balance and put more weight on her feet instead of on her hands, as otherwise the drawers would slide in and out under the force of her hands. This sense of balancing on her legs will help when she is ready to walk.

On the topic of walking, babydoll has taken a tentative step here and there, unassisted and unsupported. I won't call them her first steps though. Nevertheless, I'm willing to bet my bottom dollar that this little imp will be walking independently very very soon.

These drawers are where we keep Ryan's clothes. Ryan used to play with these drawers too, but in a different way. He liked to pull the drawers out and make patterns with them. For example, he would pull out the bottom drawer all the way and the one above that, he would pull it out a little less, and the one above that, a little less still. Or he would make align them all to the same length. He never pulled out the stuff in the drawers, which is more babydoll's objective. There was one time, Ryan pulled out the top few drawers all the way and, as the bottom drawers were shorter, the whole cabinet toppled over on him. I screamed and Richard magically appeared out of nowhere to save the day. Didn't I say he is Superdad?

Suffice to say that Ryan was no longer interested in the drawers after that. He did try once or twice but when we reminded him what happened, he would stop. At that time, Ryan was older than Rachel is now, though. When he was Rachel's age, he was interested only in learning how drawers work - open, close, learn how to keep his fingers safe. It took him two sessions of playing with the drawers, and that was that. He paid no attention to them until he was older.

These knobbed puzzles are great for perfecting the pincer grasp. Ryan was playing with this and babydoll came over to join him. Ryan wanted to put the pieces into their places but Rachel kept taking them out so Ryan ended up lying on the puzzle to keep the pieces on the board!

Anyway, I convinced Ryan to go and play with something else so babydoll had this puzzle board to herself for a little while, before she wandered off to "kay poh" at what Ryan was doing.

I have not tried to get Rachel to put the pieces in their correct slots. I know most parents would expect the child to be learning to sort and fit the pieces into the puzzle. I look at it differently at this stage because I'm focusing on her motor skills. All she needs to do is pick up the pieces using her fingers and the knobs. So I present the board to her with all the pieces intact. She dismantles it by grasping each piece by its knob and lifting it out. At this stage, removing the pieces, instead of fitting them in, is more aligned to what she is naturally driven to do, so she is happy, and mission accomplished.

Finger foods and snacks are a great way to exercise those fingers and refine that pincer grasp.

Why yes, I let her eat off my floor.

Right hand, left hand. Whichever she feels like using.

Ok, that's all! What sort of activities have you noticed your children doing, which get those motor skills working?


Pei Shan said...

Babydoll is adorable. My little babe is at this stage too. ransacking stuff and attempting walks.

Pinkie Pirate said...

Hi Pei Shan! Yes, it's quite interesting to see what they get up to nowadays!

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