Developing Fine Motor Skills

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How can Fine Motor Skils be Developed? Here are a few tips from our guest blogger Kerry Hegarty


Fine Motor Skills are the coordination of small muscles in the fingers and hands.  Strengthening these skills help your child gain their independence in every day tasks such as clothing, cleaning and feeding themselves and leading onto cutting, drawing, writing and beyond!

But before we get to the “beyond” (primary, secondary school, university, officially moving out, purchasing a cat and leaving you alone, all alone! BLUB!) here are some cheap and cheerful activities that you can do at home to build up those tiny fingers and boost your child’s self-esteem:

  1. Tearing Paper

We all love destroying things (or is that my inner Hulk coming to the forefront), so why not a rip-roaring success with anything you have to hand (or fingers): Old envelopes, colourful tissue paper, unpaid bill reminders etc.  Just be careful that you don’t leave any cheques or winning lottery tickets on low flying coffee tables.


  1. Clothes Pegs

Hooray! The sun is out!

For goodness sake and many expletives!  The sun has gone!

Hanging your clothes on the line is like playing a domesticated version of the Hokey Cokey.

So, get those little thumbs and fingers squeezing pegs open and shut like crocodile jaws, making a new fashion statement by pegging them on their clothes or if you are feeling arty, why not make a crown, cat or hedgehog!  After all, “That’s what it’s all about!”

  1. Cup Stacking

Some people are fond of diamonds.  Others prefer pearls.  I happen to love, love, love plastic cups (obviously a very cheap date).  My hands are up (don’t tickle me): they are not good for the environment (and generally too flimsy to use for drinking purposes), but they make brilliant towers and amazing fortresses.  These were a big hit in our household (if only we’d known how much joy this bought to our daughter, then Santa might have been able to pay for a weekend away that year, or at least a new pair of pants).



  1. Play Dough

Where would we be without Play Dough (or even Doh)?

However you spell it, it’s brilliant stuff for squishing and squashing, clapping and splatting and creating things (even if all the colours turn to brown and it ends up in the carpet).  Make it, buy it by the pot or purchase an activity (I was very fond of the Monster Barber Shop when I was a youngster).  Even if you are not particularly artistic, I defy you not to be able to make a worm!


These are just a few ideas to get those tiny hands busy (and don’t forget to join in too)!


In a blink of an eye these tiny people will be slightly larger people using their super fine motor skills abilities for tidying up their rooms, washing up and painting your house.  Although please, please don’t quote me on this!!!


Kerry is the creator and mad brains behind “abc’s and 1, 2, Please!”, classes and parties for children suitable from 22 months to 5 years of age with a thirst for learning, stickers and a laugh or three.  Click on the following Sophia’s Diary listing for further information: