Kindergarten and early primary teachers have aired their concerns that the rise of touchscreen devices means more and more children are starting school lacking major skills.
A primary school teacher has said that her and her colleagues had noticed “a big decline in fine motor skills” among children arriving at prep and kindergarten.
Carolyn and her colleagues blamed their young students’ declining dexterity on their use of touchscreen devices such as tablets and smartphones, shares ABC news.
“Children are holding crayons and scissors less and making fewer things with their hands,” she said.
“We’ve noticed that sometimes, even if you pass a pencil or a paintbrush to a child, they’re not quite sure how to receive it and how to hold it.”
Paediatric occupational therapist Lisa Clark said Carolyn was not the only teacher who had noticed the trend.
“In my role I work in schools for most of the week, and we interact with teachers a lot, so these discussions are something we have all the time,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne’s Hilary Harper.
“Both kinder teachers and also early primary teachers are feeding back to us about children’s handwriting and the concerns that they have.”
She said children who spent too much time on touchscreens did not develop the fine motor skills they needed when it came time to learn to write.
Ms Clark said many children had difficulty holding scissors, tying shoelaces or even using cutlery.
Ms Clark said parents needed to make the time for hands-on activities with their children.
Modelling with play dough was excellent for building finger strength, she said, as was crafting with scissors, beads and glue.
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