Fine Motor

Kids at preschool. Two children drawing and painting at kinderga

What are fine motor skills?

Fine motor skills involve the use of the smaller muscles of the hands, commonly in activities like using pencils, cutting with scissors, doing up laces, zips and buttons, construction using Duplo or Lego and opening containers.

Fine motor skill efficiency significantly influences the quality of the task outcome as well as the speed of task performance. Efficient fine motor skills require a number of independent skills to work together to appropriately manipulate the object or perform the task.

Why are fine motor skills important?

Fine motor skills are essential for performing everyday skills as well as academic skills. Without efficient fine motor skill development, it can hinder appropriate independence in life skills (like getting dressed and feeding themselves).

How can I tell if my child is experiencing difficulties with their fine motor skills?

  • Has difficulty attending to table top activities such as school tasks and mealtimes.
  • Shows a lack of interest in handwriting and drawing tasks.
  • Shows frustration, gives up easily or otherwise shows deterioration in behaviour if faced with a challenging fine motor task.
  • Waiting for parents to dress them or clean their teeth rather than trying themselves.