Using your hands to pick up objects, open a Ziplock bag, lock the door, write your name, and feed yourself are all part of fine motor skills. Fine motor skills start to develop during infancy and continue to be refined as a child grows.
Sometimes, delays in fine motor coordination occur which may contribute to a child having difficulty using utensils, cutting with a scissor, coloring or drawing, opening a water bottle, or holding items such as blocks and other toys.
Fine motor skills typically develop after gross motor skills (think big muscles first, smaller muscles second). There are many ways in which you can support the development of fine motor skills throughout your child’s life! Some of these ways include crawling, strengthening the hands through Play-Doh or monkey bars, and other options are playing with specific toys that help to develop what we call intrinsic hand muscles. These muscles are so important for skills like handwriting, picking up small items like beads or cheerios, and fastening clothing.
During infancy, you can help to promote fine motor skill development by having toys your baby can grab, hold on to, or push buttons on. As your baby grows, you can start to introduce toys that use a tool, such as a hammer, to promote grasp development and understanding of the concept that we can use a tool as an extension of ourselves! There are so many wonderful games, and building activities that also work to develop hand strength and fine motor skills as your child continues to grow. We have listed out some of our favorite toys, tools, and activities that will help to develop and refine fine motor skills for your kiddo! Happy shopping!