The Importance of Developing Early Year’s Fine Motor Skills

children learning with montessori toys in a child care

Early Childhood Development of Fine Motor Skills

What are fine motor skills?

Fine motor” is the term used to describe the coordination and control of the small muscles in the hands and fingers. These muscles allow us to perform tasks such as writing, drawing, and using small tools. Fine motor skills are important for children to develop to perform everyday tasks such as writing, eating, and brushing their teeth. In addition, many school-based activities such as art, music, and PE require fine motor skills.

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The benefits of fine motor skills

There are many benefits to developing strong fine motor skills. For example, children with good fine motor skills often have better hand-eye coordination, leading to improved academic performance and success. Good fine motor skills can also help children be more independent, as they can perform tasks such as dressing and feeding themselves. In addition, strong fine motor skills can help to boost a child’s self-esteem and confidence. Here are the top 5 advantages of good fine motor skills.

  1. Fine motor skills can help children to be more independent.
  2. Good fine motor skills can improve academic performance and success in school.
  3. Fine motor skills can help to boost a child’s self-esteem and confidence.
  4. Strong fine motor skills can help with hand-eye coordination.
  5. Fine motor skills are essential for everyday tasks such as writing, eating, and brushing teeth.

Little Playhouse thematic play-based program of fine motor skills for preschoolers

The development of fine motor skills

There are many ways to encourage children’s development of fine motor skills. Activities such as drawing, painting, play-dough, puzzles, and threading beads are great ways to promote the development of fine motor skills. It is important to remember that all children develop at different rates, and some children may need more support than others in developing their fine motor skills. If you are concerned about your child’s development, please speak to your doctor or a qualified occupational therapist.

Birth to One Year

In a newborn’s first year, they develop several basic motor skills. For example, a newborn typically has a rudimentary hand grasp and can hold a rattle if placed in their palm at around two months old.

At six months, babies can typically hold one block in two hands and shake a rattle. By nine months, most babies have developed the raking pincer grasp and can hold a bottle while dropping a block into a cup.

One to Two Years

At 18 months, many toddlers may push different shapes into toys and stack two to three cups. They should also be able to feed themselves with their fingers and write with a crayon in their fist. By 2, a toddler can usually copy a vertical line, handle a spoon, and stack six cups. They’re also learning how to dress.

Check out our program for babies here.

Two to Three Years

Most toddlers learn to make circles and copy a horizontal line during the two years between their second and third birthdays. They’re also learning to drink from an open cup and use a fork and spoon. Children at this age can also take off their shoes and socks.

Read more about our program for preschoolers here.

Three to Four Years

Preschoolers are developing their drawing abilities as they approach their fourth birthday. They should be able to copy a cross and sketch a two- to four-part person. They also learn to cut paper and dress but may still have difficulties closing buttons.

Four to Five Years

By age 5, a kid should be able to copy a square and draw a 10-part person. They’re also more likely to be able to use the tripod position to hold a pencil and color outside the lines. This age group should also be able to wash and dry their hands thoroughly.

Thematic play-based learning program is useful for this age group. Read more about our Voyager 6 preschool program here.

Why are fine motor skills critical?

Fine motor skills are essential for a variety of reasons. They help children with things like handwriting, tool use, and painting. They also play a role in activities like playing tag and riding a bike. In addition, fine motor skills help children develop coordination, agility, and strength. All of these skills are important for future success in school and life.

Related: How can you help your child improve their gross motor skills?

Fine Motor Skills Activities

Encouraging the development of fine motor skills is vital for a child’s future success. Many easy and fun activities can help children develop these skills.

Some fun ideas include:

  1. Make homemade play dough and encourage your child to use their hands to squish and mix the dough.
  2. Cut shapes from construction paper and allow your child to glue them onto a piece of paper.
  3. Encouraging your child to draw, write, or color.
  4. Provide small toys such as beads, cars, or dolls for your child to play with.
  5. Creating an obstacle course for your child to navigate. This method could include tasks such as crawling through a tunnel or jumping over foam blocks.


Studies found a relationship between fine motor skills and school performance suggest that children with strong fine motor skills are more likely to succeed in school. Therefore, it is crucial to encourage the development of these skills from an early age. In conclusion, fine motor skills are essential for overall growth and success. There are many ways to help your child develop their fine motor skills, and it is important to start early. Please consult with a pediatrician or occupational therapist if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s development. Thanks for reading!