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Developing Fine Motor Skills✏️✂️👖🥄

What are Fine Motor Skills?

The ability to perform small, precise hand movements with fluency and accuracy. It includes picking up a variety of different items with varying grips and grasps👌🫰🏻🤌🏽

Why do we need them?

It facilitates the development of mature functional hand grasps, fine hand movements, manipulation and dexterity. This enable us to complete everyday activities such as play, handwriting ✏️, cutting✂️, dressing👖, eating with cutlery 🥄etc.

Activities for Supporting Hand Dominance

  • Games such as Pop up pirate

  • Cutting and sticking

  • Mr. Potato head

  • Scooping: use one hand to scoop beans, salt, or cheerios into a container held by the other hand

  • Opening and closing containers: use different sized containers and fill them with different toys, stamps, or stickers, then close them up

  • Tip: present pencils or crayons in the top-middle section of the table so that your child needs to make a choice about which hand to use

Activities for Supporting Midline Crossing

  • Push a car on a track shaped like an 8. Ensure you child only uses one hand to go all the way round the track

  • Twister

  • Activities that encourage crossing the midline, e.g., touching right foot with left hand, Animal walks – crawling like a bear

  • Sorting games, e.g., move all the blue tokens from the left side of their body to the right side using their right hand. Then swap to the left hand and slide to the right.

  • Tip: the ability to cross the midline can be incorporated into everyday tasks by encouraging the child to pick up an object on the opposite side of their body

Activities for Supporting Hand Strength

  • Playing with tongs – try picking up pom poms or sorting dried pasta with tongs

  • Clothes pegs activities

  • Playdough activities (squishing, kneading, rolling, etc.)

  • Theraputty activities

  • Monkey bars

  • Water play with spray bottles, water guns, squirt toys, sponges


Activities for Supporting Pincer Grasp

  • Button sorting

  • Posting activities

  • Making towers with small blocks

  • Clothes pegs

  • Threading and lacing activities

  • Peeling and sticking stickers

  • Peg board activities


Turn Fine Motor Activities into Sensory Play!

  • Drawing lines or shapes in shaving foam with pointer finger

  • Finger painting

  • Drawing, scooping and pouring in sensory bins with rice, lentils, flour, or beans

  • Making sandcastles in sandpit, kinetic sand, or drawing in sand

  • Bubbles: pop using both hands, pop using isolated finger, e.g., pointer finger

  • Water play with buckets, cups and other pouring instruments, washing dishes

  • Playing with musical instruments, e.g., maraca or drum

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