Tips to Improve Fine Motor Skills in Young Children

Fine motor skills are small muscle movements of the fingers in coordination with the eyes. When working on fine motor skills, try to be patient and understanding with your child. Fine motor skills take more time and practice to develop than we adults might think. Sometimes we forget just how many of these skills need to be learned.

It is more fun for your child to learn while they play. Try to incorporate activities like dress-up to teach zipping and buttoning; making cards to practice writing or tracing skills; cutting and pasting to make a project other than just a writing on a plain piece of paper, etc. Be creative and have fun!

Here are some suggestions for developing fine motor skills and some activities to allow your child to practice them:

1. Cutting – Use a thick black line to guide cutting the following:
– Cut fringe on a piece of paper10488174_814092078687783_1759449391526640075_n
– Use craft scissors that cut in patterns
– Cut along curved lines
– Cut pictures from magazine or newspapers
– Cut figures with curves and angles
– Cut clay with blunt scissors

2. Placing objects
– Place a variety of forms (eg. blocks, felt, paper, string, yarn, cereal, cotton) on outlines.
– Use tongs, tweezers, etc. to pick up variety of small object and drop them into  a bowl or bottle.
– String beads on pipe cleaners or yarn.
– Stack blocks or other items without knocking them over.

3. Tracing and Coloring
– Use a thick black line or highlighter if needed.
– Trace and then color shapes, increasing the size and complexity gradually.
– Break crayons into one inch size. Children will be forced to hold it with correct grip.

4. Self-Care Skills
– Buttoning and unbuttoning
– Tying
– Fastening Snaps
– Zipping
– Carrying
– Locking and unlocking a door
– Opening and closing jars
– Rolling out dough or other simple cooking activities

Now that you have ways to improve fine motor skills in your child, go ahead and get started. Incorporating a few of these activities into your child’s day will go a long way in building their strength and improving their skills.

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