AD| Where gross motor skills help us get out of bed, put our clothes on and move ourselves to go downstairs to grab breakfast, our fine motor skills are for the smaller things, like tying your shoes, buttoning up a blouse and washing hands. When children master their fine motor skills they’re able to pick up other tasks when combining them with others, like being able to explore an area freely, enjoying playtime and doing more activities in school.
I love watching Leo’s fine motor skills develop! He’s now better with his pincer grip. Baby-led weaning has been so helpful in allowing him to practice his pincer grip and fine motor skills.
In this guide, with the help from an independent school in the UK, we look at the ways you can help your child with their fine motor skills.
Play games that test their abilities
Use things that let them hold objects with precision, such as wooden blocks or interlocking bricks, to put something together in their own time. Once they get the hang of it you’ll be able to add more objects to the mix, like wooden triangle blocks that can make a house, or tubes to connect things together.
Continue practising using cutlery
It does take a while for children to get used to holding cutlery and other utensils to help them eat or drink. Give them time and patience. Those messy times at the dinner table are here to stay for a little while, but all these moments help your child figure it out for themselves over time. Just ensure there’s regular practice of using plastic forks, spoons and knives to get them used to the movements.
Encourage your child to be creative
Have regular sessions where creativity is at the forefront. Get the crayons and paints out and start an art session where your child takes the lead. Helping them learn how to hold paintbrushes and crayons will help them learn how to hold big objects and keep a hold of them as they draw. Invoking creativity helps your child think of activities they enjoy, all of which will help their fine motor skills at the same time.
Get them to use their thumb and forefinger to practice
A good way of getting a child to hold things in different ways is by getting them to pick things up by using their thumb and forefinger, also known as a pincer grip. Another good way of doing this is getting a pile of straws and asking your child to pull one of them out and repeat the process. If they have a small kitchen set, they can use the buttons and switches to turn things “on” and hold plastic ingredients to begin making something. All these little things help your child with their handling and coordination skills.