What can I do to improve my child’s fine motor skills?

kids and fine motor

Has your child’s teacher complained that they can’t cut properly/that their writing is untidy/that they don’t like colouring?

The reason could be your child’s fine motor skills.

Tips to improve fine motor skills

I focus on 3 areas when it comes to improving a child’s fine motor skills:

 1.  Strengthening the hand arches 

It is important to allow each finger time to word individually with the 

thumb. Through this we strengthen the hand arches. By strengthening 

the hand arches, we strengthen grip and in turn we improve fine motor 


Ideas for activities:

  • Place pegs into the peg board – each finger does one 

colour e.g. thumb and index finger green/thumb and middle

finger yellow/thumb and ring finger blue/thumb and pinkie red

  • Place Fruit Loop onto a kebab stick each finger and the thumb

moved a different colour

  • Place pom-poms into containers. Each finger and the thumb moves a different colour

2. Strengthening the shoulder girdle

Stability at the shoulder is important to be able to use the elbow and eventually the wrist and fingers to manipulate/move the pen/pencil.

Kids with low muscle tone or insufficient postural control will initiate the drawing/colouring/writing action from the shoulder and this causes the child to tire easily and sometimes move their shoulder upwards (towards the ear) for more stability.

Ideas for activities:

  • Wheelbarrow-walk
  • Wrestling with dad
  • Arm-wrestling
  • Use a watering can to water plants
  • Carry heavy groceries inside
  • Swinging on monkey-bars

3. The correct pencil grip

It is important to use the dynamic tripod pencil grip from about age 4 years 6 months. This grip allows for optimum pencil manipulation.

Different pencil grips are available to simulate this grip.

  My favourite is the stetro-pencil grip:

        Dynamic tripod pencil grip:

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