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  • Lyndsey Ryburn, MOT, OTR/L

5 Daily Activities to Support Fine Motor Development


Fine motor skills are a compilation of strength, control, and coordination utilizing the smaller muscles of the fingers and hands. These skills are important for our little ones to develop in order to perform their daily occupations (such as eating, toothbrushing, writing/drawing, buttoning their pants or shirt and more)! Here are some easy ways to foster fine motor skill development in easy and functional ways during your daily routines:


1. Hang the laundry on clothespins. Clothespins are a great way for your little one to work on using their fingers together and building strength in the fingers and web space muscles of the hand (this helps with handwriting grasp development too)! Why not have them help with the laundry while they are at it?


2. Opening packages and bags. The pinching, pulling, and dexterity required to open packages and bags is great for allowing your child to work on their fine motor skills as well as bilateral coordination (using two hands together). Give your child the opportunity to try opening their own snacks!


3. Use tongs to help in the kitchen. Using tongs in the kitchen to help prepare a meal (toss a salad, pasta, transfer food from one plate to another) is a great functional way for children to strengthen their web space muscles and work on open/close coordination (this will help with cutting also)! If your kitchen tongs are too big, there are plenty fo smaller options made just for your little one(s)!


4. Use a sponge to help with the dishes. Squeezing the sponge can help build hand muscles, so put them on dish duty! (This is also fun to practice in the soapy bath!)


5. Pull laundry from the washer/dryer. Pulling heavy laundry out of the washer/dryer strengthens the shoulder and arm muscles which are just as important for having distal mobility and coordination at the hands and fingers.


Remember, fine motor activities do not have to be fancy! You can support your child's fine motor skills while getting some help with daily chores and routines!

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