Gross motor skills—kicking, jumping, throwing—seem to be the essence of my work with preschoolers. We are constantly up and moving around in a BIG way. So much so that it’s easy to overlook the smaller—but just as important—fine motor skills.
As a preschool SGL, you may think your only responsibility is to convey the story of God to your few little ones and you’re right—sort of. God’s big story is the main reason you are in their lives but it doesn’t have to—and probably shouldn’t—be the only reason you serve each week. The church needs to not only help with the spiritual development of preschoolers, but with other developmental stages as well. And fine motor skills are easy for an SGL to keep in the back of their mind!
Think about it—how often do we color pictures of a story we are learning? What if we took the time to make sure that child was holding the marker correctly? What if we didn’t spend hours cutting all the heart shaped fish lips out, but rather allowed our preschoolers to grab a pair of scissors and cut them out themselves? (Even if they didn’t turn out to look like heart shaped fish lips in the end.)
There are so many opportunities we can take away from the preschooler, because it won’t look a certain way, or be glued correctly, or might be cut crooked. But by using the time we already have to focus on those tiny little hands, we can make a huge impact on the fine motor skills of a preschooler.
You never know, that child that cut that a crooked line for months before she finally cut it straight, might be a surgeon when she grows up!!! Although preschoolers won’t do it perfectly and it might be a little more messy, they are learning and YOU can make a huge impact in this area of their lives.
So put down the scissors and the glue. Let your preschoolers do it! They need to learn and they need you to help them!