Activities to Improve Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills*

*This is a collaborative post*


Fine motor skills are an integral part of your child’s development. The strengthening of muscles in the hand and wrist is a gradual process and starts as babies begin to attempt to grasp objects of interest. Between the ages of around 3 to 6 months, babies begin to make concerted efforts to grasp and hold things with two hands. Babies soon learn to reach, grasp and bring objects to their mouth – by around 6 months.

As babies grow, the abilities become fine-tuned until the basics are in place – the pincer grasp (holding with a finger and thumb) is perhaps the first step in the true development of fine motor skills. You might see your baby begin to pick up food in this way and it’s always exciting to witness another step in your child’s development and journey towards independence.

Between 1 and 2 years of age, the speed in which children learn new skills is astounding and you should begin to see your child stacking bricks, turning knobs and self-feeding as well as drinking from a cup. It’s when parents notice that their child isn’t picking these skills up that many begin to worry.

Children at this nursery in Taunton are offered many fun and educational activities to help them develop and hone their fine motor skills.

All children develop at their own pace

This is important. Just like talking and walking, fine motor skills develop in children at different times. Just because your neighbour’s child can thread beads, doesn’t automatically follow that your child has reached that same milestone.

When to worry about fine motor skills

Prior to your child attending school, it’s natural that you will want them to have some independent skills in place. Worrying about your child not being able to do up their own coat or write well is perfectly natural and if you’ve noticed your child lagging a little or have other concerns, firstly mention them to your health visitor or G.P. Next – start working on helping your child to improve.

How to help your child develop fine motor skills

There are lots of fun ways in which you can help your child to develop whilst having fun.

Here are some ideas.

  • Playdoh or modelling clay – helping your child to squeeze, roll and flatten modelling clay is a brilliant way in which to help them develop their muscles. Another idea is to help them to make imprints in the clay with various objects. The act of placing and pressing items into clay will help them directly with their finger strength.

  • Squeezy bottles – fill old washing up detergent bottles with water and let your child squeeze the water out onto a path or driveway. Show them how to make squiggles, circles and even try to write letters. They won’t notice that they’re exercising their hands the whole time.

  • Beads – you can use dry pasta or actual wooden beads for threading. Most children adore making necklaces and will work on a long string for some time. The pincer grasp really gets a work out with this activity.

  • Pegging out the washing – not the real washing of course! You can string up a cord or long string and give your child a selection of clothes pegs. Help them to peg up different items. You can use doll’s clothes, pieces of paper, strips of fabric – anything you like!


There are lots of things you can do in your daily life such as picking flowers, planting seeds and even baking. Your child will usually love to imitate you so encourage them to help you around the house.

Above all, don’t worry too much. Most children begin school with some areas which need a little practice – that’s what school is for! 


*Photo source Pexels


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