Our fine motor skills are how we move our small muscles and are needed to complete a number of activities, such as writing, cutting with scissors, dressing, brushing our teeth and hair and feeding ourselves.
If your child has difficulty with their fine motor skills, you’ll notice that they struggle with:
This is one of the first stages of a child’s development and is a building block for all other fine motor skills. To help them develop, try:
Once they’re confident with these activities, you’ll notice that their grasp starts to change and they begin to move their wrist too. Continue developing this grip with activities such as the below, making sure activities are age-appropriate for your child:
Your child will also develop a pincer grip. This is a more precise grip and means they use their index finger and thumb to pick up, hold and release an object. To start with, your child will use their thumb and the side of their index finger. It’s important to help them develop this grip as it’s used for holding a pencil or scissors, handwriting, and functions like doing up buttons, zips and shoelaces.
Activities you can try to help them develop and refine the pincer grip include:
Your child will also develop the ability to point with one finger at a time. This ability will help them further develop their pincer grip and pencil grip and is important for handwriting, using scissors, doing up buttons, zips and laces and using a knife and fork.
Activities you can try to help promote finger isolation include:
Hand arches let your child shape their hand so they can get a strong hold on different objects. It also helps with controlling pressure and skilled movements of their fingers. If these arches aren’t developed fully, your child could have difficulty using objects like a knives, forks, pencils and scissors.
Activities you can try to help develop hand arches include:
If you’ve tried all of these techniques and you’re still not seeing any improvement after four months, please ask nursery/school staff for advice. If necessary, they can then refer you for further support.