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Fine Motor Development Activities

Fine motor skills engage the smaller muscles in the hands and fingers so your child can grasp, hold, grip and pinch. This could include things like picking up food or grasping a crayon. Your child develops fine motor skills so they can learn how to look after themselves when they are older and also learn how to write. Here are some activities to help develop your child's fine motor skills.


Take time to draw with your child when she wants to get out paper and crayons. Draw large shapes and let your child colour them in. Take turns. 

Pasta Play

Wrap tape around one end of a piece of string to make it stiff like a needle and put a large knot at the other end. Have your child string pasta, buttons or beads. You can also make an edible necklace out of cereal like cheerios. 

They can use it for pretend cooking, or making pasta shape pictures with some glue. As they get older they could paint it and make ‘jewellery’ for the whole family!

Sandbox Or Muddy Play

During sandpit or muddy play, try wetting some of the sand or mud. Show your child how to pack the container with the wet sand or mud and turn it over to make sand structures or cakes. 



Trace around simple objects with your child. Use cups of different sizes, blocks, or your child’s and your hands. Using felt-tip markers or crayons of different colours makes it even more fun. 



Show your child how to make snakes or balls or how to roll out pancakes with a small rolling pin using playdough. Use large cookie cutters to make new playdough shapes. 



Finger Painting

Try a new twist to finger painting. Use whipping cream on a washable surface. Help your child spread it about and draw pictures with your fingers. Add food colouring to give it some colour. 


For more information on different types of play *click here* . You can also *click here* for more activities, videos and ideas. If you’re worried about your child’s fine motor development please contact Just One Number on 0300 300 0123

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you still have concerns about your child's communication, a member of our 0-19 team is able to complete an assessment of your child and refer to other services as needed, including speech and language therapy or hearing assessment.


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