Fine Motor Skills
Fine Motor Skills - Why Are They Important? - 7 Days of Play

Fine Motors Skills – Why Are They Important?

why are fine motor skills important, kids practice fine motor skills

Early childhood is full of learning through daily interactions and play – strengthening fine motor skills is an essential part of early childhood development. But what are fine motor skills and why are they so important?

What Are Fine Motor Skills and Why are They Important?

Fine motor skills are essential to our daily living, from stacking to painting and even cutting with scissors. We usually don’t think about the impact cutting lines on paper or picking up cereal will have on our children’s future, but wow oh wow, the muscles required for these actions are oh so important! 

Fine motor skills may be the most valuable skill your children can ever learn, as they truly intersect with so many aspects of our daily life skills.

So, What Are Fine Motor Skills?

They are a skill set that involves small muscles in your hands, arms, and even eyes that manipulate objects. These skills are essential to children’s development but are often taken for granted, being deemed something one will just pick up naturally.

Motor skills help your child grasp small objects, follow you with their eyes across the room, write with a pencil and button-up cloths. While we build on these skills as we grow and learn through everyday tasks, to sharpen them, having our kids do activities that require them to use these particular muscles is imperative.

In this video, you will see a collection of fine motor activities for toddlers, plus don’t miss this spaghetti pull activity that strengthens pincer grasp, a feed the bunny activity that involves posting, and a fishing game that encourages hand-eye coordination (to name a few!).

So, What Are Fine Motor Skills?  

They are a skill set that involves small muscles in your hands, arms, and even eyes that manipulate objects. These skills are essential to children’s development but are often taken for granted, being deemed something one will just pick up naturally.

Motor skills help your child grasp small objects, follow you with their eyes across the room, write with a pencil and button-up cloths. While we build on these skills as we grow and learn through everyday tasks, to sharpen them, having our kids do activities that require them to use these particular muscles is imperative.

In this video, you will see a collection of fine motor activities for toddlers, plus don’t miss this spaghetti pull activity that strengthens pincer grasp, a feed the bunny activity that involves posting, and a fishing game that encourages hand-eye coordination (to name a few!).

Why Are Fine Motor Skills Important?

Motor skills are intertwined in almost every aspect of our lives. Their importance is unquestionable when you think about all the things you would not be able to do without them. With undeveloped motor skills, a child can suffer in feeding themselves, playing games alone and with friends, and taking care of their daily hygiene. 

Motor skills catapult children into becoming self-sufficient and are connected to children’s confidence building, peer to peer play, and academics. 

In this video, I share a compilation of activities preschoolers can do to help develop their fine motor skills. Plus, don’t miss our vertical scissor skills activity, DIY scooper tong which makes a great fine motor skills tool, and pre-writing activity board (to name a few!).

These activities will strengthen motor skills such as isolating the index finger from all other fingers, separating colors, properly holding both objects and tools all through sensory play.  

Examples of Fine Motor Skills

  • Grasping with fingers
  • Holding Bottle
  • Passing objects from hand to hand
  • Using a pencil
  • Scissor cutting
  • Building blocks
  • Combing hair
  • Buttoning
  • Zipping
  • Tying
  • Grasping with fingers
  • Holding Bottle
  • Passing objects from hand to hand
  • Using a pencil
  • Scissor cutting
  • Building blocks
  • Combing hair
  • Buttoning
  • Zipping
  • Tying

Printable Resources to Strengthen Motor Skills

If you are looking for some easy to set up activities, don’t miss our collection of printable resources! We have countless printables that will strengthen motor skills in addition to so many other early childhood education skills.

There are lots of scissor skills activities like this Scissor Skills Haircuts activity. Plus also find our Cut the Patterns, Cutting with Cars, and Sports Scissor Skills activities.

If your little one isn’t quite using scissors yet, we also have some great printable activities for toddlers including our Feed the Animals, Poke the Animals, and Peg-osaurus printables!

Plus, preschoolers who are just beginning to write can enjoy strengthening their pencil grasp with our Pre-writing Tracing Cards, and Uppercase Letter and Lowercase Letter Booklets.

 

Developmental Milestones to Watch For

Fine motor skill development starts at birth! Your little one starts learning about their visual perception and surroundings as soon as they take that first sweet breath. They start with things like holding your finger with their tiny hand to grabbing bottles. These fine motor skills become even more pivotal as they grow from a toddler to a teen. Here are some of the significant developmental keys one can look forward to in developing fine motor skills:

When your babies are 3+ months, they should hold small objects in their hand, with their thumb not tucked. By 5 months, they may reach for toys and be able to keep them briefly. By 6 months, they may be able to follow objects in all directions with their eyes – an excellent sign that your baby’s fine motor skills are on a good trajectory. As your baby grows, you’ll notice they can do more and more with their hands as they follow you across the room. 

The journey continues as they are able to move objects from hand to hand, keep their hands opened and relaxed for most of the day, pick up small items like cereal, give toys back when asked, and put objects down voluntarily.

scissor skill activity for preschoolers cutting patterns vertical set up

As your baby grows into a toddler, their motor skills will start to take a major leap; turning pages of a coloring book, putting toys in their container, using both hands to play with, and pointing with their index finger at objects. Yes, it all happens so quickly; during this time, your child is learning fast and is ready to put what they’ve maybe learned intuitively into some skilled activities.  

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

scissor skill activity for preschoolers cutting patterns vertical set up

Developmental Milestones to Watch For

Fine motor skill development starts at birth! Your little one starts learning about their visual perception and surroundings as soon as they take that first sweet breath. They start with things like holding your finger with their tiny hand to grabbing bottles. These fine motor skills become even more pivotal as they grow from a toddler to a teen. Here are some of the significant developmental keys one can look forward to in developing fine motor skills:

When your babies are 3+ months, they should hold small objects in their hand, with their thumb not tucked. By 5 months, they may reach for toys and be able to keep them briefly. By 6 months, they may be able to follow objects in all directions with their eyes – an excellent sign that your baby’s fine motor skills are on a good trajectory. As your baby grows, you’ll notice they can do more and more with their hands as they follow you across the room. 

The journey continues as they are able to move objects from hand to hand, keep their hands opened and relaxed for most of the day, pick up small items like cereal, give toys back when asked, and put objects down voluntarily.

As your baby grows into a toddler, their motor skills will start to take a major leap; turning pages of a coloring book, putting toys in their container, using both hands to play with, and pointing with their index finger at objects. Yes, it all happens so quickly; during this time, your child is learning fast and is ready to put what they’ve maybe learned intuitively into some skilled activities.  

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

Developing Fine Motor Skills Through Play

While developmental milestones are a marker for us to measure where our kids should be, we also MUST know that each child develops at their own pace. 

Researchers are not always sure what may cause a delay in the direct impact on a child’s fine motor skills. There are things grown ups can do at home to ensure they are giving their child the best outcome of fine motor skills. Playing one of the games we’ve featured above or simply sitting them in their high chair and giving them food to eat will make all the difference.  

Tracking these milestones in your child’s development will help you correct any delays or inconsistencies in their growth. By continuing to help your child develop their fine motor skills, your son or daughter will be on the fast track to learning the most essential and overlooked set of skills they will ever need.

fine motor skills toy tool scooper

Practical Steps to take: 

  • Try the above activities to assess your child development through play;
  • Talk with your doctor about your child’s development of motor skills; and
  • Give your child access to age-appropriate tools to strengthen their skill set the best headstart to their education and beyond. 
fine motor skills toy tool scooper

Developing Fine Motor Skills Through Play

While developmental milestones are a marker for us to measure where our kids should be, we also MUST know that each child develops at their own pace. 

Researchers are not always sure what may cause a delay in the direct impact on a child’s fine motor skills. There are things grown ups can do at home to ensure they are giving their child the best outcome of fine motor skills. Playing one of the games we’ve featured above or simply sitting them in their high chair and giving them food to eat will make all the difference.  

Tracking these milestones in your child’s development will help you correct any delays or inconsistencies in their growth. By continuing to help your child develop their motor skills, your son or daughter will be on the fast track to learning the most essential and overlooked set of skills they will ever need.

Practical Steps to take: 

  • Try the above activities to assess your child development through play;
  • Talk with your doctor about your child’s development of fine motor skills; and
  • Give your child access to age-appropriate tools to strengthen their skill set the best headstart to their education and beyond. 

More Ways to Strengthen Fine Motor Skills

Here are some top picks for games and tools that will strengthen motor skills!

Buckle and Threading Pillow

This colorful pillow is fantastic for fine motor skills with 12 buckles to explore as well as a threading exercise!

Sensory Bin Tools

This set comes with 7 items including bowls, scoops, and a tong. A great set for learning practical life skills through sensory play.

Color Sorting Rainbow

Strengthen motor skills while using tongs to color sort this beautifully crafted rainbow! Caution: small parts!

Color Sorting Maze

This wooden board has a magnetic wand and beads that can be sorted based on color! Great for fine motor skills too!

What’s Next?

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