This is the final article in this series focussing on fine motor skills. This piece focuses on painting and the many benefits children receive from engaging in this simple creative task. As with previous articles in this series fine motor skills, leap frog, pencil grip and threading beads, painting allows young children to develop the hand and finger muscles required to complete tasks such as lacing shoes, zipping up jackets or buttoning shirts.
The main advantage of painting over writing is that, in its early stages, it offers a chance to practice holding a writing tool that is larger than a pencil and is therefore easier to grasp. This develops fine motor skills such as finger, wrist and hand strength but painting also aids in the development of hand-eye coordination, creativity, self-confidence and can build self-esteem.
When children create paintings there is, provided the paint ends up on the paper, no right or wrong method. For young children painting normally begins with finger or whole hand painting. This allows children to explore the sensation of having the cool, squishy paint on their hands and the freedom to experiment with placing it on paper.
It lets them see how different colours look next to and on top of each other and how add colours creates new colours and that mixing all the colours together tends to make an icky brown. It also does not take long for children to progress to using a paintbrush to allow them to create more intricate images.
Using a paintbrush, rollers, paint stamps or paint wands children can create interesting effects. They can explore how to best create the end result they are looking for and problem solve which medium will produce their desired effect. They develop the language skills to explain their ‘artworks’ and, as they grow, can dictate or eventually write simple sentences to accompany their creations.
Children’s paintings offer an opportunity to develop self-esteem through praise and develop self worth when paintings are displayed around the home for others to see. They also offer an opportunities to teach colours, counting of items in the picture and, for budding art enthusiasts discussion of famous artists such as Monet or Picasso and a reason to visit local galleries to see other artist’s works.
Yet many parents do not like children painting at home as it is messy and they do not like having to clean up afterwards. So we have created the perfect solution. In our Under The Sea box we included the soap, powder paint and corn flour needed to make washable, non-toxic blue bath paint. Children get to enjoy mixing the elements together to create the paint and can then use the sponge and paint brush included in the box to spend hours painting the inside of the bath-tub with under the sea inspired scenes.
A photo can be taken to preserve the bath artwork and then both the painting, and child, can be easily washed clean with some warm water. There is no mess just a simple way to assist your child to have fun while developing so many important skills such as fine motor skills for future writing and creative arts, hand-eye coordination and finger strength.