Fine-Motor Development

Fine motor development

What is it?

Fine-motor control refers to the child’s control over the small movements of the hands and fingers. In order to gain this control, the small muscles in the hands must be strengthened. This is referred to as fine-motor development.


  • gripping or holding objects
  • posting
  • feeding
  • dressing
  • threading
  • cutting
  • scribbling / drawing / writing
  • zipping clothes up or down
  • tying shoe laces
  • doing up buttons
  • sorting objects
  • transferring
  • pouring
  • rubbing
  • painting

Why is it important?

It is essential that a child’s fine-motor skills are developed enough to be able to complete writing, dressing, and feeding tasks properly and efficiently. Children continue to develop and refine their fine-motor skills, but the foundation is developed within the first six years.


Fine-motor development concerns include:

  • holding a crayon/brush/scissors incorrectly
  • difficulty handling a crayon/brush/scissors
  • cutting out badly
  • difficulty fastening buttons
  • difficulty dressing and undressing
  • drawing and colouring in unevenly
  • difficulty throwing, catching, hitting and bouncing a ball

Download the Fine-Motor Development Chart.

Please note that the chart is based on averages and is to be used as a guideline only.

If you have concerns about a child’s fine-motor skills, have the child assessed by a GP or an occupational therapist.