Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills refer to the ability of the hands, fingers and smaller muscles of the forearm to manipulate objects and complete tasks requiring different grips and movements. These include pencil skills, scissor skills, building skills and various self-care tasks such as tying shoelaces, doing up buttons or opening containers. Effective fine motor skills are crucial for developing independence and performing essential daily skills in school and the home environment.
Successful manipulation of objects and the use of the hands and fingers requires the child to have integrated and understood a group of essential physical components. These include hand eye coordination, bilateral integration (using two hands together), crossing the midline, hand dominance and hand strength. Immature pencil grasps, messy writing skills, fatigue and difficulty manipulating objects indicate that the child may have a delay in the development of their fine motor skills. Behaviour, frustration or self-esteem may also be impacted upon if a child’s fine motor skills are under developed.