Fine Motor Skills


 The 1st Year 

In the first year, Baby’s fine motor and sensory systems – such as vision, sense of hearing and touch – will develop and become refined quickly. 

Baby’s vision is fully developed after a few months and so Baby will be attracted to brightly coloured toys. Baby will learn to reach for a brightly coloured toy, grasp it and manipulate it with his or her hands.

Towards the end of the first year, Baby will learn to isolate finger movements. This involves the ability to point with the index finger, grasp small objects using only the thumb and index finger, and release a small object from the hand when instructed.

The 2nd Year 

During this period, your toddler will refine his or her fine motor control.

Your toddler will learn to build a tower using small blocks, scribble with a crayon and snip simple shapes with a pair of scissors. Bilateral co-ordination will also develop as your toddler learns to use both hands to do two things at the same time like holding a bowl in one hand and scooping from the bowl with another.

During this stage, your toddler will also be able to manipulate finger movements better and important pre-writing skills start developing.

The 3rd Year 

Your toddler will be able to perform daily activities independently such as feeding and dressing. Toddler can feed himself or herself well and put on pants, socks and shoes independently. However, differentiating left and right sides, and the front and back of clothing may take a bit more time.

Fine finger manipulation is also improving as Toddler learns to string beads, hold a pencil using a more adult-like pattern and build a tower using multiple small blocks. 

Hand control and visual-motor coordination are also improving as Toddler learns to copy using a pencil and snip along a line using scissors. These essential skills lay the foundation for writing and copying abilities later in school.

The 4th Year 

Expect your child to refine skills in preparation for writing and learning in school. Hand control will continue to develop, and your child will learn to button large buttons and cut along a curved line using scissors.

Your child will also learn about the world in other ways, like learning to differentiate different temperatures and textures just by feeling with his or her hands. 

The 5th Year 

You can expect your child to develop a dominant hand by now.

Finger control and manipulation are more refined and accurate; your child will especially enjoy playing with blocks, building houses and even slotting small objects (anything small!) into tight spaces.

Your child will improve in pencil control and will learn to master tracing, copying and forming letters.

The 6th Year 

Your child is now getting ready for formal schooling with the basic foundation of fine motor development well established.

You will see that your child is able to write neater and faster as pencil control continues to improve. Once your child has learnt to print letters independently, he will gradually begin to refine his writing by learning to stay on lines, and making letters with consistent size and spacing.

Visual planning abilities will also continue to develop. Your child will be able to fit more difficult puzzles and copy more complicated block designs.