Activities to improve fine motor strength

Activities to improve fine motor strength

Activities to improve fine motor strength

Fine motor skills are the ability to move the small muscles in our hands and wrists to complete a task. They are an important component in a child’s development. Fine motor skills start developing as a baby, even newborns can grasp at objects, however this is quite often a reflex. From the age of 3-6 months, babies start reaching for objects and transferring objects between their hands. They continue building their skills from here as they get older.


Fine motor skills are a group of skills. Some of these skills include:

  • Arm, hand, and finger strength 
  • Grasp (pencil grasp and also grasp of things like a cup when drinking)
  • Bilateral hand coordination (using both sides of the body in the same activity)
  • Hand-eye coordination (the ability to grasp or touch an object while looking at it, e.g. pouring liquid into a cup)
  • In-hand manipulation (the ability to manipulate objects within the hand, e.g. picking up a crayon and moving it into a different position using just their fingers)


Your child will use fine motor skills in every day activities like:

  • Zipping up a jacket
  • Squishing clay between fingers
  • Holding onto a toothbrush while brushing your teeth
  • Turning pages of a book


Children love nothing more than being independent. They feel a sense of accomplishment when they can complete these tasks on their own (plus it’s less for you to do as their parent!).


The good thing about working on fine motor skills is that it can be made fun really easily! Here are our 5 favourite activities to improve fine motor strength:

  1. String activities: You can do things like make a pasta necklace, threading beads and tying shoelaces
  2. Arts and crafts activities: For the creative type kids! Activities like simple origami, rolling, squishing, squeezing, and pinching with playdoh or modelling clay, cutting construction paper with child-safe scissors, finger painting, painting with water and sticker books
  3. Every day life activities: Water play by helping wash dishes, using a hole punch or stapler, sweeping, doing up zippers on their jacket, fastening buttons, flipping pages in a book, picking berries, filling cups with water, spraying the table down after meals or putting coins in a piggy bank
  4. Games: Putting together puzzles, playing Jenga, pick up sticks, playing with Lego blocks, magnetic blocks, board games or stacking objects
  5. Sensory bins: Filling bins with a few toys (or spoons/cups/funnels) and things like rice, cooked or uncooked pasta, water, shaving cream, water beads or dry beans


Learn more about speech pathology or a speech therapy for kids today!