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Fine Motor Skills

Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills refer to the movements of the small muscles in the forearms, wrists, hands and fingers. Coordinated movement of these muscles enables us to perform tasks such as writing, cutting, brushing our teeth or feeding.

Fine motor skills include:

  • Strength; the ability of the muscles in the hand to grasp tightly, and sustain force for extended periods during a task.
  • Control; the ability of the arms and hands to accurately complete functional tasks I.e. handwriting. Children have greater fine motor control when they have well developed fine motor strength.
  • Dexterity; the ability to move fingers in novel ways.
  • Pincer isolation; controlled opening and closing of the thumb and index finger. This is required to grasp small objects such as a bead.
  • In-hand manipulation; the ability to move objects within the hand. This includes 1. rotation I.e. turning the lid of a bottle to open it, 2. translation; using the fingers to move an item from the palm to finger, such as moving a coin from the palm the place in a vending machine and 3. shift; moving an object between the pads of the fingers I.e. doing up a zipper
  • Bilateral coordination; the coordinated use of the left and right hands.
Children require the development of strength and coordination of larger, proximal muscle groups of the trunk and shoulders before adequately developing fine motor skills. This ensures a stable base to enable movement in the extremities. Larger muscle groups can be developed through gross motor activities. It is helpful to engage in a gross motor task prior to a fine motor task, to assist in warming up the muscle groups, I.e. an obstacle course, before handwriting.

Some examples of products that can assist in developing fine motor skills include:
We will happily advise of products to assist develop your child’s fine motor skills.
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