Fine Motor Skills

25 Feb 2019

Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are an important area of development as they are the foundation for other skills that children develop as they move through childhood, such as self-help skills, drawing and writing. Children who have difficulty with fine motor skills may find some activities challenging which can lead to frustration and fatigue.

Typical development of fine motor skills for children in the Nursery include:

  • By four months, babies are able to grasp objects put into their hand and hold objects for short periods of time.

  • By eight months, babies will keep their hands open and relaxed most of the time, reach for and grasp objects with one hand, as well as hold and shake objects such as a rattle or keys.

  • By twelve months, babies can move objects from one hand to the other, pick up and poke small objects with their thumb and forefinger, pick up and throw small objects, and hold their bottle or a biscuit.

  • By two years, babies will feed themselves and try to use a spoon or fork, scribble with a pencil held in their fist, imitate vertical lines or circles when scribbling, turn the pages of a book, build a tower of six or more blocks, open doors independently, and enjoy circular scribbling.

Activity ideas for helping Nursery children develop fine motor skills include:

  • Set up a treasure basket filled with objects of differing sizes, shapes and textures for your baby to explore.

  • Pull tissues from a tissue box.

  • Open and fill empty egg cartons with fabrics, pipe cleaners and cotton balls.

  • Hold, stick and unstick Velcro hair rollers and hair roller clips.

  • Put cardboard toilet rolls into muffin tins.

  • Throw mini pom-poms into a basket or into an empty ice tray.

  • Stack and knock over plastic cups.

  • Do some finger painting.

  • Use tongs, measuring spoons and ice cream scoops.

If you have concerns about your child’s fine motor skill development, the Oac Occupational Therapists can provide advice, strategies and support. Please ask your Campus Director for more information if you would like to speak to one of the Oac OTs.