Infants and children in a certain stage develop gross and fine motor skills at a pace that suits them, as some children develop some skills earlier than others, and this is very normal. Children usually begin to acquire these skills as early as a month or two and continue to learn additional skills in pre-school and early primary school.

1. What is fine motor skills?

Motor skills are all the functions that allow the control of a child’s movements. Fine motor skills relate to precise movements that stress the small muscles, especially those of the hand and fingers. Grasping an object, throwing it, bringing an object to one's mouth, but also cutting or drawing are some of these fine movements.

2. The development of motor skills

When your child is newborn, his brain is not mature enough to control his movements, but then the developmental journey begins with him. The child begins to progress in growth and movement from the head first and then the rest of the body, so it is easy for the newborn to control the movement of his lips, tongue, and face before he can control his hands and feet. In later stages, the child learns to control his neck before his shoulders, and his shoulders before his back, then he can control the movement of his arms before the movement of his hands, and the movement of his hands before his fingers, and so on. In general, the gross motor skills grow and develop before the fine motor skills.Here is a brief timeline of the most important stages of fine motor skills of infants and children in childhood:

0 to 3 months:

They put their hands in their mouthsTheir hands become more relaxed.

3 to 6 months:

Join hands togetherMoving the game from one hand to anotherHold the game and shake it with both hands

6 to 9 months:

Begin holding things by "sweeping" them with the handSqueeze the thing with two handsTouching the fingers togetherHolding the game with both handsUse the index finger to touch thingsClapping hands

Fine motor skills from 9 to 12 months:

Feed themselves with fingersPick up small things with the thumb and forefingerShock things togetherHolding the game with one hand

12 months to 2 years

Building a tower of cubesScrawl on paperEat with a spoonTurn the pages of the book paper by paperHolding pens with fingertips and the thumb

From 2 to 3 years

Opening and closing the doorCleaning handsUse the spoon and fork correctlyOpening and closing cloths zipper

From 3 to 4 years

Loosen and close clothing buttonsUse scissors to cut the paperDraw shapes on paperRelated: Technical skills; and in which fields they are used?

3. Fine motor skills and methods of development

The development of the hand is closely related to the development of knowledge. Through his development, the child learns to connect and coordinate thinking and action as follows.

3.1 The development of the child's skills at the age of 3 months

In the first three months, most hand movements are automatic and involuntary, such as holding the child of a finger tightly when placed in the palm of his hand.

His skills can be developed by:

Using the rattle, and as soon as he starts to open his fingers from each other, put it in his hand, and at the beginning, he will not be able to hold it for a long time, but by an experiment, he will be able to do so easily. Buy and encourage drop-down games to play with them, to create hand-eye consistency.

3.2 The child's skills development at the age of 4 to 6 months

During this period, your child will begin to learn to coordinate his thoughts with the movements of his hand, and he will transfer things from hand to hand, and he will learn through that cause and effect and realize the impact of his actions. He will also hold things with his hands and feet, help him by teaching to play in different ways.

3.3 The child's skills development from the age of 7 to 9 months

He will control his own play with toys, throwing and shaking, and the challenge for him will be to feed himself, and he will be able to hold some things between the thumb and forefinger. Just let him make a mess, and he will learn from the game new skills, and make sure that the back and shoulders are supported to focus on using the fingers to play.

3.4 The child's skills development from the age of 10 to 12 months

He will repeat what he does and then move to more difficult tasks such as moving each finger separately inside the nose or ear; the child will also learn to point out the things he wants. He will hold your hand and book or anything. You can develop his skills; by tying a thread of a different color in a comfortable, painless way on each finger, or through a clay hole-making game.

4. Fine motor skills activities

Entering fun activities into your child's daily routine can help improve his fine motor skills. Learning and practicing fine motor skills at an early age will benefit him in his academic, social, and personal life.Here are some activities that you can do with your children:

  • Allow your child to help prepare the meal, such as moving and mixing food or adding ingredients.
  • Share playing with the whole family and help him to solve the riddle and creating pictures.
  • Play with him with the board games included on the dice roll.
  • Allow your child to prepare the dinner table.
  • Teach your child how to pour his drink himself.
  • Let your child ball and spread the paste with his hands, and then use cake molds to make various shapes.
  • Show your child how to use the matches.
  • Train him to put rubber bands around a box.
  • Fill a box with some items, and ask your child to take it out with tweezers.

5. Fine motor skills disorders

Fine motor skills disorders can be explained by delays in the acquisition or by dyspraxia (inability to perform acquired gestures). They are manifested by awkwardness and by difficulties in daily activities: clothing, hygiene, leisure, etc. Fine motor disorders can also have an academic impact, with a delay in learning to read and write. The management of fine motor disorders is part of a personalized approach, adapted to their cause. Occupational therapy sessions can help develop a child's skills.

Originally published on Live Positively.