Developing fine motor skills
Fine motor skills refer to the movement and control of small muscles groups, including hands, wrists, fingers, feet and toes.
Movement and physical play from birth is important for the development of fine motor skills, as these build the foundations for everyday activities later in life; like buttoning a shirt, tying shoelaces, playing a musical instrument, typing, writing and more.
As babies play and explore moving their hands and feet, they are developing fine motor skills and control. Grasping and holding toys, pressing buttons or using a pincer grip (holding something between the fore-finger and thumb) and copying gestures like waving are all ways to support their early fine motor skill development.
Bath-time is also a great time to play, using sponges for squeezing, cups to fill and pour out, and floating toys to reach for and catch.
Toddlers continue to refine their fine motor skills through everyday activities like learning to use utensils, holding pens or crayons to draw and stacking blocks or connecting larger construction materials.
Tactile play with materials like playdough or slime is a great way for children to experiment and build fine motor skills through play, through moulding and manipulating the different textures and materials.
Kindy aged will start building further upon these skills, using child safe scissors, puzzles or helping you measure ingredients for cooking. As their drawing and writing skills develop, kindergarten aged children may also start to mimic writing letters and drawing more detailed pictures.