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Fine Motor Skills Development in Kids

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Fine motor skills development in kids is important to everyday activities such as tying shoes, writing names, and buttoning a shirt. Little hands need practice to develop these skills and strengthen hand muscles. Developing fine motor skills doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should always be fun! Use these fine motor skills tips to help your kids while they are developing fine motor skills.

Little girl with long curly brown hair in a pink headband and a red dress cutting paper with blue scissors

Fine Motor Skills Development in Kids

The first and biggest thing to know about fine motor skills development in kids is what are fine motor skills and why you should develop them. Understanding these things is key to helping your child! I recommend starting with this blog post first to really help you understand the importance of fine motor skills.

What Are Fine Motor Skills and Why Develop Them?

Types of Fine Motor Skills Movements

Essentially, I believe there are five basic movements that all fine motor skills activities revolve around–tearing, pinching, cutting, lacing, twisting. These basic movements are the basis for so many skills we use in our everyday life.

Focus on Fine Motors Skills ~ Tearing

Focus on Fine Motor Skills ~ Pinching

Focus on Fine Motor Skills ~ Cutting

Focus on Fine Motor Skills ~ Lacing

Focus on Fine Motors Skills ~ Twisting

The Natural Next Step ~ Writing


DIY Chopstick tongs for Preschool Fine Motor Skills Play with a muffin tin and rainbow pom pom fine motor skills activity

Fine Motor Skills Help & Tools

6 Tips for Correcting Pencil Grip

40 Fun Writing Tools for Kids

100 Household Items for Fine Motor Skills

10 Favorite Toys for Fine Motor Skills

10 Ways to Boost the Power of Playdough

Homemade Playdough Recipe

DIY Fine Motor Tongs Made With Chopsticks

BionicBlox: An Engineering Toy for Open-Ended Play

overheard shot of a boy squirting colored vinegar into a glass dish filled with baking soda

Fine Motor Skills Activities for Kids

Want activities to help develop fine motor skills? Check out this big list of fine motor skills activities for kids!

Developmental Milestones for Handwriting

Developing fine motor skills is the foundation of so many things, including learning how to write with a pencil. Below is a list of fine motor milestones to make sure that your child is up to speed with their skills and on target for handwriting development:

12-18 months: Children should typically be able to imitate spontaneous scribbles on a piece of paper with a thick marker.

19-24 months: Children should be able to imitate vertical strokes, horizontal strokes, and circles on a piece of paper.

2 ½ – 3 years:  Children should be able to accurately copy vertical lines, horizontal lines, and circles.

4-5 years: Children should be able to copy a cross, square, triangle and ‘x.’ This is also the age to begin practicing the formation of the letters in your child’s name.

5 years: Children should typically have their hand dominance established for fine motor activities.

6 years: Typically, children should be able to copy or write their name. By 6 years of age, they should also be able to write the alphabet without omitting letters. Children should be able to write the alphabet in uppercase and lowercase letters without switching forms throughout.

7 years: Children should no longer reverse the letters of the alphabet while writing (example: ‘b’ versus ‘d’). They should also use appropriate capital letters and punctuation to write complete sentences.

It is important to remember that all children develop at different rates. If your child is delayed, it is not necessarily cause for concern, but an occupational therapy evaluation may need to take place. If you are concerned, consult your child's doctor.

For a more thorough list of things to watch for, check out this comprehensive list of Fine Motor Developmental Milestones for kids ages 0-6.

Fine Motor Skills Resources

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