Fine Motor

Fine motor skills relate to the small intricate and detailed movements of the hands, fingers and wrists which are needed to manipulate, control, and use objects and tools.

The components that make up fine motor skills include:

  • Strength
  • Dexterity
  • Manipulation
  • Grasp and release
  • Finger isolation
  • Hand division
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Bilateral integration
  • Hand dominance

Fine motor skills are needed for activities such as:

  • Fastening buttons/zips
  • Tying shoelaces
  • Drawing
  • Handwriting
  • Using scissors
  • Using cutlery

Fine motor skills require strength, precision, and coordination in order to become mastered and increase independence in self-help, play, and academic activities.

An indication that your child is experiencing difficulty with their fine motor skill development may include:

  • Slow getting changed
  • Eat with their hands
  • Poor handwriting
  • Experiences fatigue when using their hands for skilled activities
  • Difficulty managing fastenings such as buttons, zips, and tying shoelaces
  • Difficulty performing self-care tasks
  • Poor or messy drawing or colouring skills
  • Not established hand dominance or swap hands frequently during activities
  • Playing with toys that have small parts is challenging
  • Poor scissor cutting skills
  • Difficulty picking up and manipulating items or objects
  • Awkward or immature pencil grasp

Seirrah OT are able to help babies, toddlers, children, and adolescents to develop fine motor skills. The first step is to carry out an assessment to identify what exactly they are having difficulties with and the possible underlying causes. Part of the assessment may include observations, directly testing activities out, administering standardised assessment tools, taking a history profile from parents, and completing school questionnaires.

Following assessment, the Occupational Therapist will work with you and your child to establish treatment goals, and create an individualised programme which will include specific exercises, and targeted activities to be completed on a regular basis. The Occupational Therapist will ensure various approaches to intervention are explored to enable them to work with the individual and their individual needs.

Some of the activities that we may include within therapy, or work towards engaging within include:

  • Playing with various types of toys
  • Manipulating construction toys
  • Completing a range of puzzles
  • Playing board games
  • Threading
  • Using tools to pick up items
  • Playing with Play-Doh
  • Using craft items
  • Carrying out ‘Theraputty’ exercises
  • Mark making including drawing, colouring and writing
  • Scissor cutting
  • Using cutlery
  • Managing fastenings

If you feel that your child is experiencing fine motor difficulties, or is not progressing independently with eating, dressing, and academic tasks, please contact our team for more information on how Seirrah OT can support, either by email: or telephone: 02920 023314.

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The MAT Centre,
Walnut Tree Farm Park,
St.Brides, NP10 8SQ

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