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Exercises for Developing Fine Motor Skills

author image Rose Welton
Rose Welton is a journalism major and a freelance writer. Her education is focused on nutrition and early childhood studies, making her an expert when it comes to writing about health and children's growth and development. She has written numerous articles and blog posts on various topics for online publications and has also worked on an Internet news team.
Exercises for Developing Fine Motor Skills
Puzzles can help to develop fine motor skills. Photo Credit: Nadezhda1906/iStock/Getty Images

Fine motor skills require the use of skeletal, muscular and neurological functions. Unlike large motor skills, which involve running and leaping, fine motor skills are small and more precise movements. They typically develop more slowly than large motor skills and can take practice to develop. Growing children often benefit from exercises and activities that will improve fine motor skills.

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There are many play activities that present opportunities for developing fine motor skills. Building towers of blocks or putting pegs in a pegboard, for example, require the use of these skills. Provide your child with many opportunities to play with these items, as well as age-appropriate puzzles. These activities require a certain amount of precision that use the brain and small muscles to complete.


Craft projects are effective in helping to develop fine motor skills. Allow your child to experiment with crayons, pencils and markers to scribble on paper with. You can also let him finger paint or use a paintbrush. As he gets older, he can use child-safe scissors to cut paper. These activities will help him to learn the ways to use his wrists, hands and fingers to make designs and projects.


Older children can develop fine motor skills by taking on some self-care responsibilities. For example, let your older child dress herself. You can also let her button large buttons on her clothes by herself and teach her how to tie her shoelaces. Let her try brushing her teeth by herself or brushing her hair. These simple tasks help to fine tune her small motor skills as well as give her a sense of responsibility.

Strengthening Fun

Many activities that children enjoy also strengthen fine motor skills. Provide opportunities for your child to squeeze modeling compound in her hands, roll it out and to manipulate it for creative play. Even helping you in the kitchen can develop and enhance fine motor skills, according to Ask your little one to help pour, measure, knead and mash to prepare meals and snacks.

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