One of the things developed in preschool which helps create readiness for kindergarten and grade school is fine motor skills. These schools go by many names, including scissor skills and grip training. You can help your child work on these skills at home with some fun activities.
Scissor skills are best worked on with a pair of blunt nosed, kid-sized safety scissors. The only other necessary tool is paper to cut into strips. You can use a marker to draw a variety of line shapes, such as curves or zig-zags, on each strip. Your child then cuts along the line, following it as closely as possible.
One way to make this activity even more fun is to use colorful stickers on the strips. Your child can treat these as obstacles that they must cut around. You can also turn cutting strips into a game. For example, roll a die and cut the strip into the amount of pieces as indicated by the roll.
Pincer grip is an important skill to work on because it makes it easier to properly hold a pencil later. Activities that encourage kids to pinch and pick up items with thumb and forefinger are a good way to improve pincer grip. Try threading activities, where a child threads wooden beads or large plastic beads onto pipe cleaners. Just make sure that the child is old enough that they don't try to swallow the beads. You can combine this with counting games, where the child will match up the number of beads to a color of pipe cleaner. For example, five beads on green, four on blue, and three on red. They can also match colors, so that only red beads go on red pipe cleaners. This makes the activity a developmentally appropriate learning challenge for your child.
Hand and eye coordination is a key component of fine motor skills. An activity that builds this skill is transferring. Fill a bowl with something bright and interesting, such as multi-colored Pom-Pom balls. Place a segmented tray next to the bowl. The child's task is to sort the poms into same color groups within each section, by transferring them with a plastic spoon. It's okay if they pick up the poms and place them on the spoon, since that also helps with pincer grip.
For more at-home ideas, talk to your child's preschool teacher, or click here for more information.