Due to the absence of fine motor control, toddlers are easily frustrated. That is to say, that without these small motor skills, everyday tasks are a challenge.
By reinforcing their fine motor development, your toddler's self-confidence can increase.
What Are Fine Motor Skills?
Let's first look at what is a motor skill? Motor skills are when the brain and muscles work together to carry out a planned motion. They can be divided into two groups: gross (large muscles), and fine (small muscles). Each group depends on one another for coordination development.
Fine motor development is what we will concentrate on in this article. Fine motor coordination focuses on the movements of the small muscles in your toddler’s hands, fingers, and wrists. For example, picking up a block between the finger and thumb.
Why Are Fine Motor Skills Important?
As an adult, these skills come to us naturally. You wouldn't give a second thought to picking up a pencil and writing a note. That is because you learned and mastered your fine motor control when you were a child.
These same skills are vital to your toddler's self-care and everyday activities. For instance, essential tasks such as brushing their teeth, feeding, and dressing themselves support independence. Similarly, stacking blocks, gripping crayons for coloring, and drawing enrich their daily lives. The list of fine motor skills used in day-to-day activities is extensive. As the ability to care for themselves increases, so does your toddler’s self-confidence.
Fine Motor Strengthening Activities
Fine motor activities are crucial to improving your child’s self-confidence and independence. The best way for your toddler to strengthen their skills is to practice. Consequently, boosting their confidence as they become more proficient. Aside from repeating their everyday activities, play is another great way to improve their skills. Toys to help with fine motor skills are simple, like magnetic blocks, play dough, puzzles, and wooden building toys.
Magnetic toys for toddlers are for builders who have not mastered their fine motor coordination. The uniquely designed, award-winning Grippies® building system is perfect for those young builders. Created to be a frustration-free platform so your toddler can successfully grasp and connect the pieces. As a result, they are strengthening their small motor skills while building their self-confidence.
Fine Motor Milestones
We have created a list below of milestones and activities you can begin to expect from your child. As a reminder, this is intended for informational purposes only. Not everyone develops at the same pace. Some children may accomplish them earlier and others later. If you have any concerns, please contact your pediatrician, as there is a wide range of development among this age group.
Fine Motor Skills for 2-Year-Olds
- Picks up small objects with pincer grasp (index finger and thumb)
- Turns doorknobs
- Unscrews jar lids
- Stacks a block tower 6-8 blocks high
- Strings large beads
- Uses a spoon correctly
- Washes hands independently
- Turns book pages one at a time
- Zips and unzips large zippers
Fine Motor Skills for 3-Year-Olds
- Cuts a piece of paper in half
- Draws a circle from an example
- Stacks a block tower 9-10 blocks high
- Laces a card
- Sorts objects
- Washes and dries face
- Buttons and unbuttons large buttons
- Puts on shoes and socks
Fine Motor Skills for 4-Year-Olds
Cuts big circles with scissors
Gets dressed and undressed
Touches the tip of each finger to their thumb
Uses a fork correctly
Uses dominate hand
Fine Motor Skills for 5-Year-Olds
- Begins to print their name
- Draws at least a six body part person
- Grasps a pencil correctly
- Opens a lock with a key
- Ties their shoelaces