Posted Feb 28, 2015 by Jacquie Robison
~ marker or crayon
It doesn’t get much easier than ‘trace your hand’ for a fun activity that develops Sofia’s fine motor skills — and her creative imagination.
The first time we tried this, she was about 3.5 years old and needed quite a bit of help gripping the marker properly and outlining her hand. The lines would start and stop, jagged and unsure. Her hands would get sweaty and frustration would bubble up — from both of us, to be honest.
One of the many things our daughter teaches me is patience. And while on some days it seems she never tires of that particular instruction, I have come to understand how very important this lesson is for me as her mom. To force myself to step back; to allow her the space to try and the space to fail. To sometimes, literally, sit on my hands and stop myself from just jumping in and doing it for her.
When I realized that I may be getting in the way of her progress, the tough question I finally asked myself was whether it was because I found it hard to watch her struggle to complete a task that was easy for her fully-able peers, or because I didn’t want her to be seen as being slower than her friends. The truth probably falls somewhere in the middle.
That very first peacock she drew could have easily been mistaken for a pet rock. The next one looked more like a porcupine. Hey, it was progress. And, it was fun. During our time together, we talked about how drawing was another way to express yourself – like singing or dancing.
One recent afternoon, during a playdate with a friend, there were crayons, markers, little pompoms and glitter glue on-hand to decorate the creations. Her friend was done and had happily moved on to playing with other toys that were out, and Sofia was still working on her piece. I felt anxiousness rising and gently nudged, “Do you girls want to play something together?” Sofia looked at me and said, “I’m not quite done, Mom. It’s not done until it glitters.” Her friend looked up and agreed enthusiastically. “You have to make sure it shines.”