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What are fine motor skills?

At Inspire Ability our Occupational Therapists are experts in helping your child develop fine motor skills so they can thrive in the classroom and their daily lives. These skills are integral to tasks like writing, drawing, holding cutlery, a toothbrush or even getting dressed for school and delays in development can pose a huge barrier in school and at home. 

What are fine motor skills?

To put it simply, these skills involve the ability to make movements in the small muscles of our hands. While this may be intuitive to most of us, fine motor skills are complex and require coordination between the muscles and the brain. We begin to develop our fine motor skills as kids but not everyone reaches milestones at the same pace. For example, one child may master using a knife and fork at age 5 or 6, whereas another may not tackle this task until their later years.

Why are fine motor skills important?

Think about your child's daily routine. They wake up and brush their teeth... gripping a toothbrush requires fine motor skills. They sit down to eat their cereal... guiding a spoon to the mouth requires fine motor skills. Don't even get us started on the role of fine motor skills in the classroom. 

When a child is experiencing delays in these skills, it can make such simple tasks feel like a mission. As a result of this challenge, their desire to complete such tasks may drop, creating a barrier to establishing a self-care routine and their learning.

How can I help my child develop their fine motor skills?

At Inspire Ability we LOVE integrating creativity into our sessions so that our clients can develop their fine motor skills in a fun and engaging way. These are just a few of the activities we do:

  • Creating sculptures with Play-Doh
  • Threading beads onto string to create funky jewellery
  • Painting and drawing beautiful pictures
  • Playing small musical instruments like a ukulele
  • Building castles out of lego
  • Cutting snowflakes from paper
  • Playing snap or other games that require the child to hold cards
  • Making and racing paper planes

We also specialise in sourcing unique products that can help your child develop their fine motor skills at their own pace. Check out our colourful Theraputty and diverse range of fidgets which makes exercising little hands fun! Our pencil grips are a fantastic tool for learning how to hold a pencil with the correct style and our easy grip scissors make cutting shapes a breeze. Our DIY Calm Down Bottles, Scratchable Paper Masks and DIY Sand Art Kits are all super fun activities that require, you guessed it, fine motor skills. 

Need more advice? Chat to an occupational therapist at Inspire Ability about resources and activities you can integrate into your child's daily lives to help them develop their fine motor skills.

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