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Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills involve the coordination of the small muscles of the hand to perform activities such as grasping toys, coloring, drawing, writing and cutting. Self-care skills such as buttoning and engaging a zipper also include fine motor skills. The development of fine motor skills relies heavily upon the development of core strength and control and shoulder strength.

It is important to create multiple opportunities daily to encourage the fine motor development of young children. Reaching, grasping, pinching, poking, building, digging, clapping, coloring and writing are just some of the ways that children can build strong coordinated muscles in their hands. The development of these fine motor skills in early childhood is a strong predictor of later academic achievement. Today’s children are digital natives and they spend a lot of time on devices. Children are spending less time playing and manipulating toys which are both beneficial activities for enhancing the development of fine motor skills. 

Signs of Fine Motor Delay

  • Poor hand dominance

  • Weakness in hands

  • Complaining of hands hurting after coloring/writing

  • Immature pencil grasp

  • Difficulty with buttoning, zippering, opening milk cartons

  • Difficulty eating with utensils

  • Poor coloring skills

  • Poor scissor skills

  • Disorganized handwriting


Activities to Develop  Fine Motor Skills

  • Play-doh activities

  • Legos

  • Card games

  • Building with blocks

  • Hole punching

  • Picking up pom poms with tweezers

  • Cutting/snipping

  • Ripping paper

  • Lacing cards

  • Buttoning and zippering clothes

If this is a topic of interest I am available to present to parents, educators, and other professionals who work with this population.  

Occupational therapy services are also available. If interested please contact me.  

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