When performing tasks requiring fine motor skills, you produce precise motions with the help of the small muscles in your hands and wrists. These don’t involve the usage of vast muscles like gross motor activities like running and jumping do.
An illustration of fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are necessary for tasks like:
- Making a phone call
- Adjusting locks, keys, and doorknobs
- A plug being inserted into a socket
- Clothes buttoning and unbuttoning
- Zippers opening and closing
- Using buckles and snaps to fasten
- Shoelace tying
- Flossing and tooth brushing
- Showering or bathing
- Using the restroom
Cooking and eating also require fine motor skills for tasks like picking up tiny things like raisins.
- Using a fork or spoon to eat.
- Taking apart and reassembling containers like lunchboxes and zip-top bags.
- Adjusting and removing lids.
- Taking a serving of food using a huge spoon, tongs, or a ladle.
- Utilizing a knife to cut food.
- Spreading condiments such as butter, mayonnaise, and jam.
- Spice sprinkling.
- Preparing the meal.
- Pouring beverages and condiments like ketchup and salad dressing.
- Fruit and vegetable cleaning and peeling.
- Combining, whisking, and stirring.
Particularly crucial are fine motor skills for educational pursuits like:
- Turning a book’s pages
- Painting and drawing
- Using scissors to cut
- Using paste and glue
- Using a ruler to measure
- Using a computer mouse pad while typing
- Musical instrument playing
When playing, kids use their fine motor skills, which include:
- A rattle being shook
- Blocks being stacked
- bead stringing
- solve puzzles
- doll dressing
- puppet-related activities
- making clay sculptures
- constructing train or automobile tracks
- constructing with Legos or other building tools
- gaming on a board
- gaming on a video game
Milestones for Fine Motor Skills
Milestones are abilities that kids gain as they mature. Most of them start to develop fine motor skills at a certain age.
3 months. Your baby’s ability to control their arms is limited. They may be able to reach their lips with their hands. The hands of a baby are frequently clasped tightly. At three months old, your baby’s hands begin to loosen up and open up. They might try to grab toys that are hanging from hooks and they might be able to swing an arm in that way.
6 months. At this age, the majority of babies can clasp their hands. Usually, they are able to simultaneously extend both arms to grasp objects. Your infant could be able to hold small objects for a brief period of time at 6 months.
9 months. At 9 months old, children can usually bring things to their mouths and transfer objects from one hand to the other. Most of the time, their hands are relaxed and open. Pincer grasps are frequently used by newborns. They do this by picking up tiny objects with their thumb and index finger.
12 months. Once they turn a year old, most kids can let go of items on purpose and may even be able to hand you something if you ask for it. They can point at things, put things in and take things out of containers, and bang two toys together.
18 months. At this age, kids can frequently clap their hands, wave farewell, and draw with crayons on their own. Your toddler might start using a cup for drinking and a spoon for eating.
2 years. By the age of 2, most kids will point to pictures in books and turn the pages. Your youngster might be able to build a tower out of three or four blocks.
What makes fine motor skills crucial?
For executing the aforementioned routine tasks as well as intellectual tasks, fine motor skills are crucial. A child’s self-esteem may suffer, their academic achievement may be jeopardized, and their play possibilities may be highly constrained if they are unable to do these daily duties. Additionally, they are unable to acquire proper independence in “life” skills (such as dressing and eating themselves), which has social repercussions for both peer and parental relationships.
How can you tell at a glance if a youngster has problems with their fine motor skills?
Absence of interest in or avoidance of fine motor abilities (and has tasks listed above).
Preferring to be active (again to avoid sit down tasks).
Interest in “passive” hobbies like IT (such as watching television on an IPAD, which don’t need fine motor skills).
No desire to practice with a pencil or scissors.
Playfully acting bossy and requesting others to “draw a cat for me”.
Failing to persevere in the face of adversity (e.g. asking parents to fix a problem without physically trying to fix it themselves).
Waiting for their parents to put them in clothes or brush their teeth as opposed to doing it themselves.
Refusal to use the IPAD’s stylus.