Arts Education

Art Mazes for Children

“Why are parents so eager to send their children to art classes at such a young age?” A question we hear very often at Artary. One of the major reasons? Improving fine motor skills.

These days, children get fine motor skills training in schools from as early as two years old. Children need strong fine motor skills (beginning with a strong pincer grip!) to learn to write letters, numbers – and their own names! A good foundation in writing, arguably, will allow children a head start in learning.

Once your child can hold the pencil correctly, your child can practice tracing lines on animal outlines or running the pencil path mazes to improve control.

Playing Mazes

Before children can form use lines to form letters and numerals clearly, they must be able to move the pencil precisely the way they want. Mazes are fun and convenient ways for children to practice manipulating a pencil. Build a story or a familiar environment around the maze, such as the school or even a rescue mission, and the maze can seem like a puzzle challenge that the child wants to take on! The space in the paths of the maze gives children the opportunity to practice as they move the pencil along the trial.

As a new activity, use simple mazes with straight lines and wide paths. Familiarise your child with the idea of mazes by tracing the path of the maze with the pointer finger a few times. Repeat until your child understands not to touch the sides of the maze! Now, with the pencil, remind your child to slowly control his line through the maze, picking up the hand and moving along the maze as required. Make sure the pencil is always on the page for maximum control of the line.

As your child demonstrates high levels of pencil control, get ready with more advanced mazes! Use curves and frequent direction changes, and narrower paths. Encourage your child with the mazes by creating story lines. One of the favourite mazes we use in Artary for our children is a maze to save the fly (trapped in the middle of the maze) from the sleeping spider! The children can relate to the story, and will try their best not to awaken the sleeping spider by touching the walls!

Make sure your child is applying an appropriate amount of pressure to the paper with the pencil. Pressing too hard on the paper may be tiring for your child. Don’t be too anxious on getting success the right time, play more mazes to get your child to practice more!

More Fine Motor Skills Activities on the Go:
  • Practice pincer grips by pinching and busting bubble wraps with the thumb and pointer finger. Play with them in the car or after meals.
  • Practice tracing or drawing mazes on steamy mirrors in the bathroom or frosty car windows. Trace shapes of buildings or trees, or the outline of the head on the mirror. It makes bathing fun and keeps the child occupied on long car rides.
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