Growth and development are an incredible part of human existence. Different facets of these changes occur at different ages, and facilitating them is an important part of a parent, guardian, or teacher’s responsibilities. One such aspect of growth and development is the building of fine motor skills. As adults, we do not think about the nuanced and small movements we do every day that allow us to accomplish tasks, but children need to build these movements. When a child is in the toddler and preschool phases they are most primed to growing in these skills. Fine motor skills are related to the coordination between smaller muscles and the eyes.

Some of the movements and abilities controlled by fine motor skills include:
-buttoning and zipping up clothes


-grasping objects

-turning pages

-using utensils

Here are 5 ways to help a child develop fine motor skills:

  1. Finger Paint: Using their finger to paint can help children get stronger control of those muscles. Unlike a brush, they will also be able to go back and forth between their dominant and non-dominant hand if encouraged, getting stronger in both.
  2. Helping set the table: Setting the table requires children to grasp, carry, place, and straighten. Start by helping them set places on playsets, and then have them help with non-breakable plates and utensils at the adult dinner table, as they become increasingly capable.
  3. Puzzles: Not only can puzzles be a good way to get the whole family engaged in quality family time, it can also build problem-solving skills and motor skills at the same time. They have to place and be gentle with their placements. The better their motor skills, the more difficult the puzzle they can try.
  4. Cutting and gluing: Using scissors requires a host of small muscles in the hands and fingers, and gluing needs the eyes and fingers to communicate in exact manners. Taking time to do arts and crafts with glue and age-appropriate scissors helps their creativity
  5. Playing with puppets: Using puppets can help children learn how to use their fingers together, or individually, depending on the type of puppets. Some can be made with felt or paper bags. Puppets from the stores have even more ways to use them, and can increase the muscles and fingers used.

These are just a few of many ways to increase fine motor skills, at various age ranges. What are some things you do that can help children increase their motors skills?

By: Bethany Verrett