Fine motor skills are required for many daily activities:
Pencil skills (scribbling, colouring, drawing, writing)
Scissors skills (cutting)
Construction skills - using lego, duplo, puzzles, train tracks
Doll dressing and small world play
IT use (e.g. mouse and stylus manipulation)
Dressing – tying shoelaces, zips, buttons, belts
Eating – using cutlery, opening lunch boxes and food bags
Hygiene – cleaning teeth, brushing hair, toileting.
What activities can help improve fine motor skills?
Threading and lacing: with a variety of sized laces and beads.
Tongs or teabag squeezers: to pick up objects (e.g. put marbles down a marble maze).
Manipulation games: such as ‘Pick up Sticks’ and ‘Connect 4’.
Play-doh: Using the fingers, not the hands as whole; working with the Play-doh up in the air, not flat on the table.
Construction: that requires pushing and pulling with fingers (e.g. ‘Mobilo’, ‘K’nex’ or ‘Lego’).
Storing construction materials in jars with screw lids that need to be opened and closed as the materials are needed and when packed away.
Craft: Make things using old boxes, egg cartons, wool, paper and sticky or masking tape.
Play-dough can help strengthen hand and arm muscles, which is essential in order to develop fine motor skills and prepare children for many important skill, such as writing. Strengthening these fine motor skills will help your child have the ability to hold a pencil correctly, move the pencil with control, and apply pressure to the paper.