There are many developments that take place in a child, fine motor skill development is one of those. Now, what is fine motor development? When a child learns to use the smaller muscles like those present in the hands, wrists and fingers, it is believed that they have achieved fine motor skills. In simpler words, this development makes the child able to make movements using his/ her small muscles.
Proper development of these skills makes the child self-dependent. As the smaller muscles start to work, the kid becomes able to do minimum self-care activities on his/ her own.
Let’s take a look at what are fine motor skills in child development and what are examples. But, at first, let us get a bit deeper into what fine motor skills mean?
What Does Fine Motor Skill Mean?
In simpler words, fine motor skills mean the tiny movements of the fingers, wrists, hands, toes, feet, tongue and lips. The muscle moving actions in the body are referred to as motor skills.
With fine motor skills, another skill that develops is large motor skills. Now, what are large motor skills? The larger movements of legs, feet, arms or the entire body come under this group.
Examples of Motor Skills
Scribbling, drawing, colouring, writing
Holding scissors and cutting
Doling up sandals
Opening and closing buttons, zips, belts
Opening bags, lunch boxes
Importance of Fine Motor Skills
The little muscles that regulate the hand, fingers, and thumb are used in fine motor abilities. They assist children with key tasks such as feeding themselves, handling toys, buttoning and zipping clothing, writing and drawing. The capacity to perform self-care and daily duties boost a child’s self-esteem and confidence.
It’s critical to begin working with youngsters on developing their fine motor abilities as soon as possible. As children grow older, their fine motor skills will develop and improve.
Some youngsters may find it difficult to complete tasks that require fine motor abilities. When they are unable to do daily duties, they may become angry and unhappy. A kid, for example, could struggle to grip scissors and cut along a dotted line. As a result, individuals may become upset with the work and skip cutting activities because they believe they are too difficult.
Fine Motor Activities for Kids
To strengthen their tiny fingers and promote hand-eye coordination, you can urge your baby to participate in fine motor exercises. These enjoyable exercises assist toddlers and preschoolers in preparing for writing and other daily activities.
Colourful Pom Poms
Sorting pom poms by size and colour is a fun activity for kids. Watch them scoop up and sort many small multicoloured pom-poms onto a muffin baking sheet or an ice cube container using tweezers or chopsticks.
Kneading, pressing, pulling, and shaping playdough into forms is a lot of fun. This popular pastime gives your fingers a good workout. Older kids can learn how to slice, press, and compress play dough into a variety of forms with playdough tools.
Eyedropper or capillary painting employs the pincer grasp to vacuum up water-based colour and compress it paper or paper towelling, making it ideal for 2.5-year-old children and up.
Cutting Out Shapes
Cutting out shapes with a set of child-friendly paper cutters is a simple task for supervised youngsters aged 2 and above. Draw various shapes on multicoloured paper, such as mazes, triangles, rectangles, and wave-like lines, then watch your youngster cut them out.
Playing with Loose Parts
Children’s interest and fine motor skills can be developed by introducing loose parts such as pine cones, bricks, pebbles, chopsticks, forks, string, metal bowls, paper, and beads.
What are Fine Motor Skills in Childhood?
Children develop these skills at their own pace. Some may develop some skills later than others and there’s really nothing to worry about. From the age of 1 to 2 months, kids gradually start acquiring these skills and the learning process continues through preschool and elementary school.
Following are some of the important fine motor skills that should develop in childhood.
The Palmar Arches
This muscle movement allows inward palm curling. This build-up helps in finger movement thus ensuring the ability to write, grip and unbutton clothes.
This helps the kids to move their fingers with control and stability. This movement is generally developed by the early school years.
Performing minor tasks using hands where the tip of the index finger and middle finger get in touch with the thumb.
Two-way Hand Skills
Coordination of both hands at the same time for executing various actions.
This skill is generally developed in a kid by the age of 4 years. This efficiency strengthens hands and develops hand-eye coordination.
Timeline of Fine Motor Development in Kids
Let’s see at what age kids develop what skill but these are not fixed for all.
0 to 3 Months
Placing hands or bringing hands to mouth
03 to 06 Months
Tries to reach the toys
Holding and shaking toys using both hands
Moving toys from one to another hand
Holding hands together
06 to 09 Months
Starts to get a handle on things by “raking” with the hand
Tries to reach toys while sitting
Grasping small things with fingers
Squeezing things using hands
Touching things using the index finger
09 to 12 Months
Using fingers to feed themselves
Using your thumb and index finger to grab little objects
Holding a toy with one hand
Dropping and picking of toys
1 to 2 Years
Building block tower
Eating with a spoon
Scribbling on paper
Page-turning one at a time
Using fingertips and thumb to hold a crayon
Placing shapes inboard
2 to 3 Years
Correctly using fork and spoon
Doorknob in turning
Zipping and unzipping clothes
Snipping with scissors
Stringing large beads
Placing and removing lids from canisters
3 to 4 Years
Buttoning and unbuttoning clothes
Tracing shapes on paper
Paper Cutting using scissors
4 Years to Older
In between line colouring
Benefits of Fine Motor Skills
Each and every development is necessary for the proper growth of skills. Without the proper development of these skills, children may find problem in performing their regular activities and even his/ her academic performance can get affected.
Following are some of the difficulties a child can face without proper fine motor coordination:
# Shirking or lack of potential in the engagement of skills using a fiddly finger.
# Avoiding tasks that require sitting down and preferring physical activities.
# Interest in activities like watching videos, television is a passive type of activity requiring low or no fine motor skills.
# Cutting or pencil skills do not interest these kids.
Other Symptoms that Show Lack of Fine Motor Coordination
# Not trying to fix a problem and asking parents to do that instead.
# Not willing to clean their teeth or dress up without their parents’ intervention.
# Can not or trouble in colouring in between lines.
# Struggle in block building.
# Can not eat by themselves.
# Clumsy movements.
# Drops objects.
# Struggling with tying shoelaces.
# Can not hold a toothbrush or spoon properly.
Incorporating Motor Skills Activities
It is important to incorporate motor skill activities in children’s daily routine as that can be beneficial for them to make progress socially, academically and personally.
Following are some of the motor skill activities that parents can incorporate:
# Playing board games involving rolling dice.
# Asking a kid’s assistance in lunch preparation like mixing, stirring, pouring ingredients etc.
# Painting fingers.
# Solving puzzles together.
# Pouring water or other drinks in the glass.
# Setting the dinner table together.
# Encourage kids to place rubber bands around cans.
# Involve the children in dot-connecting games.
# Inserting puzzles.
Parental Concern for Kids Lacking Fine Motor Skills in Childhood
All skills do not develop around the same age in all children but sooner or later, the skills need to get developed for the proper growth of the kids. Children who are showing symptoms that indicate a lack of fine motor skills development requires attention. Parents should take a closer look at the activities of their kids and if they see any symptoms, they should take proper care of them.
Parents and teachers who are in charge of taking care of the children should have a clear understanding of the timetable of skill development. Parents should incorporate motor skill activities in the kids daily routine and they can also consider enrolling their kids on various workshops that can help the kid grow their skills.
For proper living and learning, fine motor skills play an important role in child development. With proper incorporation of motor skills activities, daily house activities, enrollment in the right skill-developing workshops children can overcome various difficulties and reach milestones. Click here to visit The Real School Of Montessori now!