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Fine Motor Skills

What is Fine Motor Skills? Fine motor skills involve the use of the smaller muscle of the hands, that include the fingers, knuckles, wrist, feet and toes. Why is developing fine motor skills important? Fine motor Skills are important for our everyday tasks, and for our children are important for learning, play and engaging with others. Difficulties with fine motor skills can lead our children to struggle with playing with others, academic tasks, writing, getting dressed, feeding themselves, and much more. How do I know if my child struggles with fine motor skills? You may observe, notice or the school may report some of the following challenges in your child,

  • Difficulty with fiddly finger skills

  • Difficulty holding their pen or pencil

  • Avoiding sitting down activities, e.g. drawing or playdough

  • Interest in ‘passive’ activities such as computer or IPAD

  • Does not enjoy pencil or scissors activities

  • Asking parents to fix a problem without physically trying to fix it themselves

  • Requires parents to dress them, or clean their teeth rather than trying themselves

  • Challenges with zips, closing containers or bags, tying laces

There are many ways to improve your child’s fine motor skills, this may require consistent daily activities and continuing to practice however you will see in time that your child will improve in fine motor and tasks. Strategies

  • Puzzles

  • Lego

  • Playdough

  • Rolling playdough

  • Baking and cooking

  • Arts and crafts

  • Dress up

  • Threading

  • Board games with manipulative pieces

  • Pre-writing skills

  • Drawing

  • Painting

  • Messy (Sensory) play

Can you think of any fun and engaging fine motor activities? Have fun practicing and remember the more engaged the child is in the task the more that they will learn and remember from it. Next Connecting Together will share the foundations for fine motor skills blog, so you can see what skills are needed to be developed to support your child’s fine motor skills and activities.   If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact for more information and ideas on how to help your child in these developmental areas. Melissa Walker-Tate Occupational Therapist Connecting Together.

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