Throughout early childhood development, there are many important milestones for children to meet. Since every child is a unique learner, not every child will reach these milestones at the same time, and some children may require additional support with their developmental skills. One way to provide this additional support is by enrolling your child in a therapeutic preschool program. In a therapeutic program, children receive additional support with meeting key developmental milestones, such as speech, language, behavior, motor skills, and more. There are many creative activities incorporated in the daily routines that keep children engaged, while also building important skills. One such example is finger painting.
While finger painting may seem like a basic activity, there are many benefits of finger painting for young children, particularly those who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), sensory issues, or other developmental delays.
- Many children on the autism spectrum have challenges with sensory processing, meaning they are either hypersensitive or hyposensitive to sensory information. This may affect the way that children process tactile input (textures or touch). In order to make children more comfortable with tactile input, a therapeutic preschool program might have children engage in finger painting activities to improve sensory integration skills.
- From an occupational therapy perspective, finger painting can also help children improve their fine motor skills. When children are finger painting, they are using smaller muscles in their hands and strengthening these small muscles.
- From a speech-language pathology perspective, finger painting can also help children develop communication skills. This can be achieved if the therapeutic preschool teacher engages children throughout the activity by asking questions about their painting. This will help to develop both expressive and receptive language skills. The child must first process and understand the question that their teacher is asking (which builds receptive language skills), then they will express their thoughts and feelings about their painting (which builds expressive language skills).
- Since there will likely be a group of students in the class involved in the activity, the children will likely interact with each other, which provides additional opportunities for children to develop their communication and social skills.
Finger painting is also a great way to get children involving in a fun and creative activity that stimulates different parts of the brain. They must first plan out their drawing, then execute their painting.
Do you think your child could benefit from a therapeutic preschool program? Contact CST Academy at 773-620-7800 to learn more about our Chicago therapeutic preschool program that incorporates ABA therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and feeding therapy services for children.