The BabyCenter Editorial Team Describes the Difference Between Fine Motor Skills and Gross Motor Skills...
Motor skills are motions carried out when the brain, nervous system, and muscles work together. Fine motor skills are small movements – such as grabbing something with your thumb and forefinger – that use the small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips, and tongue. Gross motor skills are the bigger movements – such as running and jumping – that use the large muscles in the arms, legs, torso, and feet.
We try to work on both fine and gross motor skills with Vada at least once everyday. Practically every activity done throughout our day gives us opportunities to work on both. Picking up before bed time requires all kinds of fine motor skill. V needs to concentrate on the tasks that are giving to her, like "Put this in", "Bring this to Mama.", and so on. That last one could actually be considered her also working on her gross motor skills as well.
Vada really likes these Melissa and Doug Animal Magnets and I do too. They are wooden cut outs in the shapes of animals with a corresponding sticker to each shape. Seems simple enough and it is.
With these magnets we can work on speech sounds and signing..,
Vada's pincer grasp (with both her right and left hands) and she works on standing as well.
We work on identification of each animal and the personal sounds that they each make.
We work on Vada's skills to follow directions,
Someday's we bring out Vada's balance board (this day was not one of those days.) and Vada will either sit on it or step onto it and then go into a standing position, this is actually not as easy as it may sound.
I never knew the potential of toys until Vada, before her they were just plain old toys. Now toys have a whole new meaning to our family and I look at them for their leaning value. It's kind of cool that the potential of toys is like the potential of our children --never ending.