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How using Blu Tack can encourage dexterity in younger children

BluTack for Dexterity

Gripping objects, zipping up coats, brushing teeth or hair – these are all actions that require a certain level of dexterity. For young children, developing these skills is an integral milestone towards increased independence and learning in later years. But did you know that working with Blu Tack can actually aid and encourage this type of development?

Dexterity and fine motor skills involve performing movements and tasks that strengthen the smaller muscles in the hands, fingers and wrists. This is an important precursor to developing academic and self-help skills that allow a child greater independence.

So how can Blu Tack support this learning? A family favourite, Blu Tack is used to strengthen little hands through pinching, rolling, squeezing and stretching the adhesive, which also helps improve control over the fingers. Creative play can offer a valuable sensory experience and this type of exercise is critical for developing positive self-esteem, along with self-help proficiency.

When combined with hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills can open new doors for learning and creative expression. Research has shown that dexterity can actually lay the foundations for academic success later on*. For example, a child’s hand must be strong and coordinated enough to hold a pencil steady to write, or scissors to cut paper.

If these skills are underdeveloped, children with poor dexterity tend to experience low self-esteem and can become frustrated that they can’t perform the same activity as competently as their friends. It is, therefore, important to spot those having difficulties early on.

Avoidance or disinterest in tasks or perhaps reluctance to sit-down and play can be indicators of those struggling and as a result of their fear of failure or frustration, can mean they have fewer opportunities to practice and improve.

Blu Tack, therefore, is an ideal material to get children stuck into creative activities and encourages fine motor skills through creative play, as it’s a ‘blank canvas’ material open to interpretation individually.

*Education England