July 3


4 Exercises To Get Your Children To Excel at School From an Early Age

When you were younger and you played with your friends, did you think it was about learning things or just having fun?

Chasing the ball or running after a friend, or simply drawing on paper, are all skills that children develop to use their bodies in different ways.

The truth is that children learn when they’re playing.

The best part is that they’re not even realizing the development that is taking place in their lives.

When it comes to preschool age children, this is the time when they’re getting ready for more advanced academic work and they’re still having fun!

At this stage, children are using their bodies in different ways to strengthen them physically and mentally. At the same time, this process will help them to get ready for academics.

Getting Children Ready for Academics

As an occupational therapist, among other skills that are important to form in a child, is the readiness to use their body for writing.

The most important skill is to strengthen a child’s use of the whole body. This is done during play.

We provide preschool children with toys that challenge them, but also strengthens the whole body.

Getting Pre-school Children Ready for Academic Work

EXERCISE 1 - Types of Toys For Whole Body Strength

Tricycles, balance boards and bucket stilts are some of these toys. Take a look below for a detailed guide of some toys that we recommend.

Our Recommendations

Whole Body Strength

Toysmith Monster Feet Walking Toy

For this toy, children are able to use their hands to balance while they’re standing on “Monster Feet”. This also encourages imagination and creativity.

There are other specific body exercises that children can do to strengthen parts of their body. 

EXERCISE 2 - Strengthening Shoulders and Wrists

For toys that strengthen shoulders and wrists, it is important to provide a stable base of support for the skilled use of children’s hands.

When you’re providing the child a toy that is on a vertical surface, they’re able to strengthen their shoulders and wrists.

Some exercises that we can do is the use of natural vertical surfaces such as the bath tub wall with bath tub crayons or bath tub finger paint.

Our Recommendations

Strengthening Shoulders and Wrists

Crayola Bathtub Finger Paint Soap 5 Pack New Vibrant Colors by House Smart

Allow children to practice on a vertical surface and working on strengthening shoulders and wrists

There are other ways to engage children using vertical surfaces. Using toys like magnets on the fridge or dry erase crayons on the window also provide a natural vertical surface.

Strengthening Shoulders and Wrists

Lite Brite Game

There are games that are played in a vertical surface such as the Lite Brite Game

Lite Brite Game is a toy that has a stand and the child needs to put in the screen the pegs. This is a classic toy that you probably remember playing when you were a child.

Strengthening Shoulders and Wrists

Learning Resources Avalanche Fruit Stand, Fine Motor/Grip Game

This game allows you to pick the fruit, except that the fruit basket is on a stand, so children need to adjust as well.

There are other ways to strengthen shoulder and wrists. Weight-bearing exercises are a fun game that children love like crawling…

In fact, crawling activities are great because while lying propped up on one’s arms while on the belly, children practice. Tunnels is a great motivator to get children to crawl.

Strengthening Shoulders and Wrists

Learning Resources Avalanche Fruit Stand, Fine Motor/Grip Game

Here is a tunnel that I recommend. The tunnel is a great way to get children to crawl and develop those skills that they need.

EXERCISE 3 - Strengthening Fingers for Writing

The truth is that children who struggle to use scissors, managing clothing fasteners and other related skills, will also struggle with handwriting and other classroom skills. That is why it is very important to help children develop their intrinsic muscles in their hand to prepare them for writing.

The types of toys that you can use to motivate children to use those muscles are toys that have small pieces, tons, tweezers or scissors.

Our Recommendations

Strengthening Fingers for Writing

Learning Resources Avalanche Fruit Stand, Fine Motor/Grip Game

Because this game is all about small pieces and learning to use tweezers to develop fine motor skills, children take turns removing the fruits from the board without creating an avalanche.

I also like this game for another important skill for preschools, which is patience, persistence and practicing frustration control, as they must start from the beginning if they create an avalanche.

Another way to practice this skill is through Pushing and Pulling Toys and Activities for Kids

Strengthening Fingers for Writing

Rimobul Assorted Designs Dough Extruders Set

In this toy, children are squeezing things out of the dough extruders. By squeezing toys, children are able to work the muscles of the hand.

Strengthening Fingers for Writing

Bubble Bear 6 oz Bubble Blowing Squeeze to Blow Toy for Kids

This toy allows kids to blow bubbles in an easy way by squeezing the bottle. A great way to practice skills with and strength with fingers and a fun activity for kids.

Strengthening Fingers for Writing

Learning Resources Avalanche Fruit Stand, Fine Motor/Grip Game

This toy allows children to shoot foam balls by squeezing the shark. The harder they squeeze, the further the ball will go.

EXERCISE 4: Using Both Hands Together

Children need to have their hands working as a team with one hand doing skilled movements and the other as the helper hand. They can engage in play that both develops the use of both hands and also strengthens the hands.

One toy that is good for preschoolers may be something they started with as toddlers is the Jumbo nuts and bolts.

Our Recommendations

Using Both Hands

Learning Resources Avalanche Fruit Stand, Fine Motor/Grip Game

This toy allows kids to use one hand to hold the bolt and the other to twist the bolt in other to get it in its place. It is color coded as well, so you work with different ways and different parts of the brain.

Using Both Hands

Hook and Latches Toss and Catch sport game for 2 players with 2 balls in a Mash bag

This toy is great because there is ball with the hook that catches onto the mash. It encourages hand-eye coordination and then the ball must come out in order to throw it again. This is where both hands need to work together in order to get the ball out, throw it, and then catch it again

Are you ready?

You have some amazing recommendations in ways to prepare your child to give him or her the strength that they need in their body in order to be ready for more challenging academic work and to succeed in writing and other essential skills. Which toy are you going to start with???

Disclaimer: These toys we've personally used and strongly recommend them. At no extra cost to you, we may earn a small commission for referring you to an external site. Thank you


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