Choosing Activities Based on Abililties

The development of the brain happens the most for children between the age group of 3 to 10 year old. Once you have understood your child’s innate abilities it would be extremely easy for you to choose just the right kind of activity for him or her. Since this is also the stage where most of the physical development takes place, as a parent you should concentrate on improving some of the basic motor skills of your child.

Improving Gross Motor Skills

To support development of gross motor skills one should involve activities that control the arms, head, legs and trunk. A child should:
  • Run
  • Hop
  • Jump
  • Skip    
  • Push and Pull
  • Climb
  • Ride tricycles
Some of the activities that support these are playing hopscotch, tossing and catching balls of different sizes, jumping ropes, pulling toys, climbing up and under the bed and sofa and emptying baskets and filling them. You can start with swimming which involves movement of all the important parts of the body. Dancing is also an important activity for improving gross motor skills. It need not be ballet or any classical dance but simple free hand movement will drastically improve the motor skills of the child.

Improving Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills include control of small muscles of feet, fingers, toes and hands. As a parent you should also arrange for improving the fine motor skills along with gross motor skills. For hand and finger coordination, the following activities could be enjoyed:
  • Playing with clay and dough
  • Arranging blocks of various shapes and sizes
  • Painting with brushes of various sizes
  • Beading
  • Cutting various shapes with child friendly scissors
  • Colouring with crayons and pencil colours

How to choose the right activity for your child

  • A child at this age group is usually undecided about what he or she wants. But a seven year old or a 10 year old can express his or her likings to some extent. If your child is old enough to express his or her desire then listen to them, even if you think otherwise.

  • Take trial classes and see if your child is learning and happy being part of these classes. These classes are usually free, and so trying them out should not be much of a problem.

  • You can consult your child’s Montessori teacher and decide on an activity. If your teacher feels that your child needs participation in a certain activity for a particular reason, try to convince your child for the same.

  • Use some rewards as encouragement if a child succeeds in some activity.

  • Decide on the reason for choosing an activity. Is it only as a hobby or  would he or she like to participate in competitions?

At this stage you have the luxury of choosing more than one activity for your child if time and finances permit.
Based on your child’s Weaknesses and Strengths you can decide upon the activities:

Team sports like basketball, soccer, baseball helps an individual with:
  • Physical fitness
  • Social skills
  • Team spirit
  • Focus and attention to detail
Individual sports like gymnastics, golf, tennis, swimming, karate can help with:
  • Self esteem
  • Fine motor skills
  • Flexibility
  • Social skills
  • Self reliance and responsibility
  • Self motivation
  • Not all can make a podium finish but activities can instill confidence and responsibility which are bound to stay. So look for long term benefits rather than short term ones.
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