Tips and Games to Strengthen Fine Motor Skills
Children’s fine motor skills start to develop significantly from 18 months until 3 years of age. This means their ability to grasp and manipulate small objects with their hands develops over time.
Theoretically, after the age of 3, most children should be able to manipulate small things with their hands without any difficulty. However, there is a small percentage of children who don’t develop their fine motor skills properly by this time.
When this occurs, it’s because the child hasn’t reached the appropriate development of their fine motor skills in accordance to their age. That’s why it’s important to practice these skills with them.
This way, over time, they’ll develop their finger and hand dexterity.
Now, is it possible to strengthen a child’s fine motor skills? The simple answer to this questions is yes.
So, how can it be done? Read the following tips and suggestions below.
Games and other activities that improve fine motor skills
A wide variety of games are currently available in stores that can help improve your child’s fine motor skills.
In this article, you’ll find a few activities that will allow your children to interact with their environment.
But don’t forget that the development of fine motor skills happens in accordance to your child’s growth and maturity.
In the case of any deficiencies or delays, you can also stimulate progress. How? By following up with your specialist.
Here’s a list of exercises to help strengthen your child’s fine motor skills:
- Open one hand while closing the other. You can start off slow and then pick up speed.
- Open and close the fingers on their hands. You can start slowly and then begin to alternate hands and increase the speed.
- Touch each finger on both hands with the thumb of the same hand. Try to increase the speed gradually.
- Do up and undo. In order to enhance their fine motor skills, the child can fasten and undo buttons, tie and untie laces, hook and unhook objects or screw and unscrew lids.
- Art or music? The child can play with plasticine or play the drums or even the piano on imaginary instruments on a table at home.
- Where are your little fingers? You can start with a closed first and then open the little fingers one by one, starting from their pinky.
- There is nothing more fun than practicing marksmanship! Allow your child to throw objects at a target.
- Connect the dots. Give the child a piece of paper with various dots that form a figure. The idea is for the child to connect the dots and create a beautiful drawing.
- Art! Art! Art! Drawing, painting, coloring and even solving mazes can be very helpful when it comes to enhancing fine motor skills.
- Wooden or rubber puzzles. We don’t mean regular puzzles. Here we’re referring to puzzles where they have to place figures into a base that fits them.
As you can see, there are many activities that you can perform from the moment your child reaches the age of 18 months.
Some of these activities require a certain level of skill, while others are very basic and elementary.
The options mentioned above are games and entertainment for children. However, they also provide invaluable benefits for the development of children’s fine more skills.
Although these are skills that should develop naturally, it isn’t a bad idea to give them a little push.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Ammons, R. B., & Ammons, C. H. (2017). Motor Skills. Motor Skills Research Exchange. https://doi.org/10.1177/003151255100300101
- Cameron, C. E., Brock, L. L., Murrah, W. M., Bell, L. H., Worzalla, S. L., Grissmer, D., & Morrison, F. J. (2012). Fine Motor Skills and Executive Function Both Contribute to Kindergarten Achievement. Child Development. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01768.x
- García, J., & Berruezo, P. (1994). Psicomotricidad y educación infantil. Impreso en España. https://archivos.csif.es/archivos/andalucia/ensenanza/revistas/csicsif/revista/pdf/Numero_16/TAMARA_ARDANAZ_1.pdf
- Zabaleta, J. A. (2012). La Psicomotricidad Fina, paso previo al proceso de escritura.