Threading is as easy as 1-2-3!
Threading is a wonderful activity for promoting fine motor development in young children. It requires concentration and thinking skills, encourages the use of the pincer grasp between the thumb and forefinger, and naturally strengthens the small hand muscles that are vital for holding a pencil. It is a complicated brain process as both sides of the child’s brain need to talk to both hands simultaneously (bilateral coordination), and as such requires a great deal of concentration when the child is first learning to thread.
The disposable coffee stirrers that are available at most take-out restaurants, a small piece of a drinking straw, and a headless matchstick are all great “needles” to use when threading. We think immediately of using beads to thread, but often the hole is too small for a young child to get the thread into and can lead to lots of frustration. Cardboard egg cups, milk bottle lids with holes cut in them, pieces of polystyrene vegetable trays or toilet rolls cut into rings are an easily-available alternative. Threading is a fun activity, and once mastered, can lead to a great sense of accomplishment, which is one of the reasons that the children in the crèches supported by Singakwenza are given many opportunities to thread. Sequencing, colour matching, numbering and letter matching can all be incorporated into threading games. So have a look in your recycling bag and see what fun things your child can thread with today!