The development of fine motor skills during early childhood is important for the attainment of many fundamental skills needed throughout the entire duration of a lifespan. For instance, everyday activities such as fastening clothing, turning pages, writing and using a knife or fork, all require the body to utilise its fine motor skills.
Fine motor skills can be defined as the use of small muscles in the fingers, hand and arm to manipulate, control and perform everyday tasks. Hand eye coordination, where a person uses their vision to control the actions and movements of their small muscles, is also an important component of fine motor skills.
Due to biogenetic, cultural and environmental factors, all children develop fine motor skills at differing rates. Despite individual variations, there are age appropriate developmental milestones that can indicate normative maturation of fine motor skills.
Show Milestone Chart
A dramatic improvement in fine motor ability occurs during early childhood years. This progression in ability is brought about by physical and neural advances that weren’t already present during infancy or toddler years. Greater mylination of neurons in the cerebellum enables more efficient neural transmissions, which ultimately improves coordination of fine motor movements.
As illustrated in this developmental chart, a child at the age of four should be competent in areas such as threading beads onto a string, turning pages of a book, holding a pencil using a tripod grip and tracing neatly when colouring. Please watch carefully as Anita’s fine motor skills are demonstrated during these tasks.
Show Footage of Threading a bead.
The previous footage highlighted Anita’s hand eye coordination very successfully. As shown, Anita was able to use her vision to control the actions of the small muscles located in her fingers and hands in order to thread the froot loops onto a piece of string.
The next video extract will feature Anita Turning...