Fine Motor

The ability to use large and small muscle groups that coordinate body movements involved in activities such as walking, running, jumping, throwing, writing, maintaining balance, buttoning, cutting, visual tracking, and tracing.

What Are Fine Motor Skills?

Fine motor skills generally refer to the small movements of the hands, wrists, fingers, feet, toes, lips, and tongue. Fine motor skills involve the use of the smaller muscle of the hands, such as when fastening buttons and using a pencil. Efficient fine motor skills require a number of independent skills to work together to appropriately manipulate the object or perform the task.

What are some signs and symptoms of a fine motor disorder?

Signs and symptoms include any of the following: the child may not show interest in grasping objects; may have poor hand-eye coordination (which appears as “clumsy”); an avoidance of quiet, table activities like drawing, writing, or even eating meals with a utensil; difficulty with grading movement such as stacking blocks; difficulty with fasteners and getting dressed; and difficulty with cutting and handwriting.


Skills expected at various ages are listed below:


Birth - 3 Months

Hands are in a fist, thumbs are tucked in; watches movements of her hands and can bring the hand to her mouth; follows a moving person with her eyes; holds objects in hands

3 - 6 Months

Picks up objects with one hand; transfers objects from one hand to another; looks at objects a few feet away; olds hands together; reaches for a toy using both arms and holds it briefly

6 - 9 Months

Rakes tiny objects with fingers; uses thumb and fingertips to grasp objects; holds 2 objects (one in each hand, at the same time); uses 2 hands to pick up large objects

9 - 12 Months

Puts small objects in cup or other container; turns book pages a few at a time; pokes and points at things using index finger; grabs crayons in fist

12 - 18 Months

Builds tower of 2 or more blocks; marks a piece of paper with a crayon and scribbles imitatively; stacks 2-3 cubes; can hold an object with one hand and manipulate it with the other hand

18 - 24 Months

Starts using fingers and thumb to grasp crayons; imitates vertical and circular scribbles; turns pages of a book one at a time; strings 1-3 inch beads; cuts paper using scissors; builds tower of 3-5 blocks

3 - 4 Years

Cuts across paper with small scissors; draws or copies a complete circle

4 - 5 Years

Prints first name; draws a person that has at least 3 parts (head, eyes, nose, etc.); draws recognizable pictures

If you have concerns for your child’s development with Fine Motor Skills, contact us today for a FREE screening!