Tuesday 8 February 2022

Helping Your Child Develop their Fine Motor Skills

(Collaborative Post)

A lot of our daily tasks require us to control the small muscles in our hands and wrists, such as holding cutlery, writing a letter, or doing up the buttons on our coat. We call these controlled movements our fine motor skills. Of course, our new-born babies do not yet have the skills, and they must be developed and practiced over time.

Close up of a highchair tray, covered in spagetti with a childs hand and spoon in shot

If a child has weak fine motor skills, they will struggle with lots of normal activities, from eating to writing legibly or using a computer. With this in mind, it’s important for parents to find ways to encourage their children to practice using the small muscles until they become more competent.

I have teamed up with a private nursery in London to share some ideas of activities that can help increase muscle strength and co-ordination, which will prepare your child for more advanced skills going forward. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started:

· Stacking small blocks

· Playing with playdough or clay

· Drawing/scribbling with crayons etc

· Painting, either with fingers or with a paintbrush

· Opening and closing containers

· Doing jigsaw puzzles together

· Getting dressed independently to practise teeth/hair brushing, buttons, zips, buckles etc

· Helping in the kitchen with pouring, stirring, shaking etc

Of course, there are different milestones to look out for, as you can’t expect a one-year-old to do the same things as a four-year-old. By roughly 2 months of age, your baby should be able to hold a rattle if you place it in their hands and by 6 months, they should be able to shake the rattle. 

These skills will slowly develop further through everyday activities and whilst you play with them. Eventually they will be able to tie their own shoelaces or safely use a pair of scissors. 

If you are concerned about your child’s development in any way, don’t hesitate to speak to a professional.

Mummy Snowy Owl


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