top of page
  • Writer's pictureDr. V.S. Gayathri

Activities To Develop Fine Motor Skills in Children!

Fine motor skills are small muscle movements in the fingers, hands, and forearms that help us with our daily chores. These skills develop over time as children start interacting with the world around them. As they improve their fine motor skills they will become able to perform controlled and stable movements as well as learn to do more things with their hands such as holding things, tying shoelaces, feeding themselves, cutting with scissors, and others.

Dr Amanda Gummer from the Good Play Guide groups fine motor skills into three segments: grasping, manipulating, and hand-eye coordination. 

Though fine motor skills develop over time naturally from birth, these need to be practiced and nurtured from an early age.

Here are some simple yet effective activities that you can encourage your kids to do at home.

1. Playdough Crafts: Kids love to make different things with playdough. This is not only fun but can be educative too. Shaping and molding playdough helps to build finger muscles, hence impacting fine motor skills.

2.     Stringing Beads: Use inexpensive beads to urge your child to string them into a thread. This activity not only needs coordinated finger movements but also proper hand-eye coordination.

3.     Threading and Lacing: Lacing activities help strengthen hand and wrist muscles as well as developing the pincer grip. Using alphabets for lacing can help in developing literacy skills and encourage children to thread different words and phrases. This activity will also help young learners become aware of the roles of their dominant and non-dominant hands.

4.     Magnet Fishing: Place some magnetic letters and numbers into a large bowl and create a ‘fishing rod’ by attaching a paperclip to a piece of string. Encourage your child to use the fishing rod to catch letters and numbers. Ask them to find a specific letter; this will encourage them to make focused and controlled movements. You can extend the activity into letter or number recognition by asking questions about what’s been ‘caught’, like:

  • What words do you know that begin with this letter?

  • What letter comes after this one in the alphabet?

  • What numbers add up to make this number?

  • What is the sum of this number + 2?

5. Cutting Patterns: Experts suggest that correctly holding and using scissors to cut out shapes is a skill that should be achieved by the age of six. Give your child some scissors and patterns to cut out. You can also give them some jelly which they can snip into different shapes. You can gradually move from simple shapes with straight lines to difficult ones with curved lines.

While some of these activities may be done independently, it is always recommended for parents and educators to supervise the toddlers when playing with small items to prevent any mishap and also to check if they are doing it right.

You can design many more activities according to the liking of the child with colours, papers, toys, food items, cutlery, or any easily available at home. These will help them achieve fine motor skill milestones at the proper age.

However, children develop at different rates and that is fine to a certain extent. It is advisable to talk to the doctor if your child doesn’t seem to be reaching many of the milestones for their age group or if you’re concerned about their development. They might help you set up an evaluation with a specialist.


bottom of page