We adopted our daughter, Rosa, from China a little over a year ago. She was almost four years old and when she came to us she was quite delayed in fine motor skills. She did not know what to do with a crayon or pencil and she did not know how to fit pieces in a toddler level wooden puzzle. It was obvious she had played with very few toys in her lifetime because she didn't know what to do with them.
I have worked with many children who have special needs so I am aware of the types of resources available to help children with delays. After getting home from China, I started working with Rosa 15-45 minutes a day on fine motor skills using activities, toys, games, and Kumon workbooks. I am not typically a big fan of workbooks but I have to say that many of the Kumon workbooks are excellent. In this post, I want to share the three that helped Rosa the most and how they helped her.
One of the Kumon workbooks that was extremely helpful is titled Let's Color! This workbook is for children ages 2 and up. It is a great way to introduce younger children to coloring and it is also a wonderful resource for older children who have difficulty with coloring and other fine motor skills. Rosa initially had a lot of trouble with coloring because she had very weak hand muscles. A regular coloring book page was completely overwhelming to her because she could not color for any sustained period of time. The Kumon "Let's Color!" book was just what she needed because it was colorful, inviting, and much of the coloring had already been done. Each page had a picture with small to medium size areas that still needed to be colored in. Rosa could complete a page in about five minutes and this provided encouragement and a sense of accomplishment. The amount of coloring needed to complete a picture slowly increased as the book progressed. After finishing this workbook, Rosa was able to move on to regular coloring books and now does quite well with her coloring.
The second Kumon workbook that helped Rosa a great deal was Let's Cut Paper! This is a fun, colorful workbook with very easy cutting projects geared toward beginners. It slowly progresses and by the end of the book has the child cutting out simple animals and objects. Rosa loved this book and went from having zero scissor skills to being able to cut out objects in about a two month period.
The last Kumon workbook I will discuss in this post is called My Book of Easy Mazes. This book is filled with fun simple mazes. The book allows a child to practice prewriting skills by following the curves, zigzags, and straight lines of each maze. This helps get children ready to learn how to write their letters which are made up of similar curves, angles, and lines. After doing this workbook, I had Rosa start practicing tracing letters on our easel chalkboard. I am proud to report, that after a long year of working on fine motor skills, Rosa can now write her name. Kumon workbooks were definitely a huge help in getting Rosa to where she is today.
All the workbooks mentioned above are available through the Kids Love Learning Store under Fine Motor Resources. There are also other Kumon workbooks listed that provide more practice in coloring, cutting, and fine motor skills. We have used a number of Kumon workbooks and I have only included the most helpful ones in my store. In a later post, I will discuss some of the activities, toys, and games we used to help Rosa with her fine motor skills. You can preview some of the toys and games at the Kids Love Learning Store as well. Feel free to email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
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