Building fine motor skills is important for a child’s development because many of the normal things people do every day require them. Marking a page, transferring items from one container to another, and learning an appropriate grip are important skills that will have long-term benefits.

Marking

Art is a wonderful way to improve your child’s fine motor skills and is only limited by the tools you have available. The only thing to remember is that you should plan for them to make a mess and encourage them to improve over time. Marking or drawing is a fun activity that creates something as well as builds fine motor skills. You can use a coloring book, an empty notebook, or even the dirt. The child can use anything from fingers and markers to crayons and pens to pencils and paintbrushes.

Transferring

Moving things from one place to another is an important skill used for eating more complex food than a tube of applesauce. Fortunately, all you need to practice this skill is two cups and something to move what is in one cup into the other cup. This could be a smaller cup for solids like rice or a baby syringe for liquids. Once again, expect your child to make a mess until they are more practiced. You can move rice, rocks, or anything small that requires them to use dexterity more than their strength. Celebrate when they spill fewer things, even if it is just five things rather than six.

Gripping

This skill is one of the most easily transferrable, even to other skills on the list. It also teaches the child how hard to grip something. If they grip too hard, they might damage whatever they are holding. If they grip too softly, whatever they are holding might fall out of their hand. To practice gripping, encourage your child to bring you things that are far away. Finding something far away can also help them with shape and color recognition.

Gripping, transferring, and coloring are all excellent ways to improve your child’s fine motor skills. If they can learn these skills, they are ready for the next stage of development.