Fine motor skills

fine motor skills
This week we’ve got ***10 tips for developing fine motor skills: ideas to help children strengthen their grip and improve the flexibilty of their fingers. These are important things for young children to be working on so they can enjoy being more independent, fastening their own buttons and zips. Fine motor skills are needed for writing and drawing too and there are lots of fun ways you can encourage your pre-schooler.

Tip #1 Encouraging your child’s fine motor skills gets them ready for lots of things from tying shoe laces to holding a pencil.

Tip #2 If your child’s not interested in pencils try using chalkboards and sticks in sand instead. Use water and a paint brush too.

Tip #3 Fastening buttons and zips are great fine motor practice so try to allow extra time to let your child fasten up their own coat.

Tip #4 Baking helps children’s fine motor skills: as they knead dough and rub butter into flour they strengthen their fingers.

Tip #5 From around the age of three you can try using scissors: try making these paper lanterns which are great cutting practise.

Tip #6 Choose good scissors & try thin card not paper at first. Try these cutting skills ideas from TeachPreschool.

Tip #7 Lacing is great practice too.  It’s easy to make your own lacing games: try this lacing apple from No Time For Flash Cards.

Tip #8 Peeling stickers is perfect for little fingers. Buy some with your favourite characters on and get sticking.

Tip #9 How about clothespegs for building finger strength? Hang up the washing or make a number line .

Tip #10 Thread a pasta necklace, fill pots using tongs, have a go with tweezers: all great ways to develop little fingers.

Does your child find buttons and zips easy to fasten? How do you help them practise?

Check out our archive for lots more fine motor skills ideas


  1. says

    It is interesting how my daughter is very good at some of those but really struggles with others. But we do at least one of those almost everyday!

    • Cathy @ NurtureStore says

      Hi Abbie, It’s great that she’s getting lots of opportunity to practise. Some things are trickier than others – I know lots of children find buttons hard to manage.

  2. Tracy says

    Hi! I am new to your site & LOVE it!!! I will be sharing with with my FB friends and my SAHM’s Club as well!

    Thank you for these wonderful ideas & encouragement. My son just turned 5 and is not as interested in writing with pencils & pens as he is other things. This list of ideas will be very helpful. We already do some of them but we need to increase the frequency of working on fine motor skills more. (Girls are so different from boys, as my 3 yr old daughter doesn’t struggle in this area.)

    I recently heard from a teacher friend if we painted with water on the ground it would help as you have notes. She also suggested we hang paper on the wall higher up to do a larger scale art project so he needs to use his whole arm & shoulder to write that it would strengthen his shoulder muscles & that would help as well.

    Thanks again!!!

    • Cathy @ NurtureStore says

      Hi Tracy! Great to hear from you – and great ideas to ‘go big’ with some drawing and mark making to get started.

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