According to Teena Valdez-Panga, preschool teacher at the Community of Learners School for Children, these activities, especially arts and crafts, will also help the child become expressive.
Play Dough or Clay:
Roll play dough into balls and columns (like snakes) Use small clay balls as “dice” for the child to shake and roll. Encourage the child to create other shapes with the clay.
Use sticks and toothpicks to scratch designs or let your child “scribble” on a piece of clay flattened like a pancake.
Cut out different shapes that your child can glue to a sheet of paper. Encourage him to “paint a picture” by creating bigger figures with the shapes.
Let your child tear newspaper strips or tear the strips yourself to have him crumple the paper in his hands. This increases hand strength, and the little crumpled balls can be used as stuffing for other art activities. You can also dip the little balls or crumpled paper in glue for your child to stick on paper.
Scatter small objects on the floor, such as small toys or the crumpled newspaper, and let your child pick them up.
Make finger puppets for you and your child and start conversations between them by using finger movements along with “dialogue.”
“Children who have more developed motor skills are able to join more activities, thus gaining more confidence in themselves as they see success in their endeavors,” concludes Valdez-Panga.
Dr. Arlin de los Angeles, M.D., pediatrician, St. Luke’s Hospital
Feny delos Angeles-Bautista, early childhood development specialist and school director, Community of Learners School for Children
Teena Valdez-Panga, preschool teacher, Community of Learners School for Children
Your Child’s Development From Birth Through Adolescence, by Richard Landsdown and Marjorie Walker (1991)