Fine Motor Skills

The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.” Dr. Maria Montessori

What are motor skills?

Motor skills are skills that enable the movements and tasks we do with our bodies on a daily basis. Gross motor skills use the large muscles in the body and include movements such as walking, jumping, skipping, and throwing a ball. Fine motor skills are those skills that require control and precision in the small muscles of the hand like using a pencil. Both of these skill types are important in the development of young children.

Child learning with objects

Why are fine motor skills important for school?

Fine motor skills depend on the use of the small muscles that control the hand, fingers, and thumb. These skills, along with arm strength and hand-eye coordination, lay the groundwork for all sorts of important competencies for your future kindergartner. Children need dexterity and strength in these muscles so that they can independently feed themselves, use utensils, button and zip clothes, and manipulate toys. Fine motor development is essential for children’s emergent and writing skills. Your child will need to grasp a pencil correctly to form letters and eventually write.

How Can Parents and Caregivers Help Children Develop Fine Motor Skills?

Parents and caregivers can help children develop these fine motor muscles by offering their children opportunities to play with a variety of items like play dough, Legos, crayons, and child safe scissors. The kitchen is a perfect place to practice fine motor skills. Your child can help in the kitchen through measuring, pouring, peeling veggies and even cutting with a child-safe knife. Some activities or tasks may be frustrating for your child at first. That is ok! Let them practice and master skills. Learning persistence and patience is important too!

Everyday Learning Opportunities!

Do you want more ideas for quick and easy fine motor building activities to do with your upcoming kindergartner? Watch these 2-3 minute homemade videos created by our CCPS staff and early childhood community supporters.

Resources to Support Fine Motor Development

Want to prepare your little one for handwriting? Start by building those fine motor muscles! Below you will find some sites that provide easy to implement age appropriate fine motor development ideas for your preschool child. Try them out together!

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