Practical Skills for Pre-School

Practical Skills for Primary School

Practical Skills for Secondary School

Practical Skills in FE and University


Practical Skills for Pre-School

Painting and other activities

Painting activities can help improve motor control. These activities may be harder for some children than others, especialy children with poor coordination. Ten minutes of some of the following tasks, three times a week, may help the child improve their fine motor control.

Ideas to Help

Larger-handled tools allow the child to adopt a better grip and allow them to manipulate the tool better when completing any activity.

Changing the child’s position or the activity may make it easier or harder for them to complete. For example, the child could try lying on the floor to complete a task instead of sitting on a chair.

Choose equipment that is the correct height and size for the child, such as chairs and painting easels.

When painting, place paper on the wall or on an easel and have the child stand to paint. Alternatively, lower the easel so the child can sit on a chair. Another position could be placing the paper on the floor and allowing the child to lie in a prone position (on his/her stomach) or kneeling. This will also strengthen back and neck muscles. Lowering the easel could allow the child to “high kneel” to paint.

Some children may not like to touch certain textures amd may try to avoid this completely. For example if he/she is made to do finger painting, they may report that they feel sick when they put their hands into the paint! If this is the case it may be necessary to try making pictures or doing activities avoiding fingers, and using brushes, or starting with “semi-dry” materials such as pasta shapes or dough.

Helping the child to overcome touching particular textures can also be achieved by making hide-and-seek games e.g. putting objects in a bag of dried pasta shapes or polystyrene packing material and getting the child to find the object without looking, and then to describe it.

Other semi-solid materials such as jelly could also be introduced, as well as working with sand.