When our oldest was young, likely a toddler, I remember having a conservation with my husband about working on our toddler’s fine motor skills. At the time I was working as a pediatric medial social worker and talked about fine motor skills often. My husband on the other hand ran a restaurant. There was not a lot of talk of fine motor skills while cooking lobsters.
When asked if he knew what I was talking about, he held up his hands and said something to do with these as his wiggled his fingers. He was on the right track.
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I often talk about the kids using their fine motor skills when we do craft projects, especially if there are scissors involved. I thought I would share a little bit about fine motor skills and some resources if you want further information.
What are Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscle movements which typically occur in coordination with the eyes. The focus of fine motor skills is most often on movements of hands and fingers. You will often hear the term dexterity is being used. (wikipedia)
Why are fine motor skills important?
As preschoolers, kids need fine motor skills for many tasks including:
- playing with small objects
- cutting with scissors
- holding and using silverware
- getting dressed (buttons, zippers & shoelaces)
As children begin school, good fine motor skills, will enable children to learn handwriting.
More Fine Motor Skills Resources
I am by no means an expert on fine motors skills, but luckily I know where you can find experts 🙂
Hands on as We Grow offers a great free printable fine motor skills milestones guideline for ages 0-6 years. This list includes average ages. Remember that all children develop at different rates.
If you do notice that your child is significantly behind be sure to contact your pediatrician. Sometimes children need additional assistance when developing their fine motor skills. Occupational therapists are experts in the field of fine motor and handwriting development and can provide that additional help.
We use scissors a lot in our craft projects. We started allowing our kids to use scissors at a your age. Pre K Pages offers great Tips for Teaching Scissor Cutting Skills. Munchkins and Moms offers a great review of scissor choices for preschoolers.