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Importance of motor skills
Most of the activities and works in a Montessori environment incorporate the child's physical development. Manipulating small objects exercises fine motor skills while making big movements exercises gross motor skills.
Fine Motor Skills: Children need to strengthen muscles that are required to do everyday activities. Using a pincer grip to pick up small materials exercises muscles in the child's hand. These same muscles, through the pincer grip are needed in order to hold a pencil correctly. The Montessori (Animal/ Botany/Map) Puzzles, Sensorial materials (Knobbed Cylinders, Sound Cylinders, Geometric Cabinet) and Practical Life materials (Spooning, Transferring, Open/Close Containers) all require the child to use the pincer grasp.
Gross Motor Skills: Using the body to make big movements for a child will strengthen gross motor skills. These movements will be a part of the child's daily responsibilities. Doing activities such as mopping requires the child to move side-to-side. The side-to-side motion will exercise gross motor skills while also preparing the child to read, crossing the midsection is imperative in order to read from left to right. Walking on the line and using line activities (holding a small object, balancing something on the head and dancing with scarves) will exercise large movements in a child's body. Also, providing yoga or simple exercises in the classroom will encourage children to have fun while strengthen gross motor skills.
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