Motor skills are movements and actions of the muscles. Typically, they are categorized into two groups: gross motor skills and fine motor skills.
Gross motor skills are involved in movement and coordination of the arms, legs, and other large body parts and movements. They participate in actions such as running, crawling, swimming, etc.
Fine motor skills are involved in smaller movements that occur in the wrists, hands, fingers, and the feet and toes. They participate in smaller actions such as picking up objects between the thumb and finger, writing carefully, and even blinking. These two motor skills work together to provide coordination.
Today we will discuss Fine Motor Skills.
Fine motor skills aid in the growth of intelligence and develop continuously throughout the stages of child’s development.
There are four key developmental stages in the life of a human :
Basic Fine Motor Skills develop gradually and are mastered between the ages 6-12 years in children. These skills will keep developing with age, practice and the increased use of muscles while playing sports, playing an instrument, using the computer, and writing.
Fine motor skills involve the use of the smaller muscle of the hands, commonly in activities like using pencils, scissors, construction with lego or duplo, doing up buttons and opening lunch boxes. Efficient fine motor skills require a number of independent skills to work together to appropriately manipulate the object or perform the task.
What skills do “Fine Motor Skills” include?
- Self Care Activities like dressing up, brushing teeth, tying shoe-laces, eating food, using a spoon and a fork, putting up sandals, zips, buttons, belts etc.
- Academic skills like coloring, writing, scribbling, drawing , scissor skills etc.
- Play Skills like stacking, constructing, cut and paste , doll dressing up etc.
Why are fine motor skills important?
Fine motor skills are essential for performing everyday skills as well as academic skills. Without the ability to complete these every day tasks, a child’s self esteem can suffer, their academic performance is compromised and their play options are very limited. They are also unable to develop appropriate independence in ‘life’ skills (such as getting dressed and feeding themselves) which in turn has social implications not only within the family but also within peer relationships.