This post has been updated in February 2015 with new graphics and links. Despite all my worries about Smarty’s fine motor skills as a 2 year old, she is completely on level now with her fine motor skills as a 8 year old :) Disclosure: I am an Amazon associate and this post contains affiliate links. For full disclosure, please click here and thank you for supporting my blog!
Fine Motor Development MilestonesDespite her academic talents, Smarty is less than stellar when it comes to motor skills, both gross and fine. Just to see where she should be, I checked one of my favorite sites, BabyCenter, for their milestone chart on fine motor development:
|At age...||Most can...||May also...|
|2 Years||• Stack five or more blocks• Turn a doorknob• Hold crayons or pencils (but not as easily as an adult)• Draw a horizontal line• Manipulate eating utensils (but not holding them the way an adult would)• Suck through a straw• Remove shoes and socks• Work puzzles with knobs||• Remove other clothes (without buttons), diaper• Scribble• Brush teeth (with help)•Wash hands|
|3 Years||• Stack nine or ten blocks• Undress self (but still needs some help dressing)• Wash and dry hands• Feed self• Copy a rough circle and a cross• Work puzzles with large pieces• Use blunt scissors• Pour liquid from a pitcher (with spills)• String large beads |
• Brush teeth (with help)
|• Fasten large buttons• Use blunt scissors to cut a straight line• Eat from a spoon without spilling|
|4 Years||• Dress and undress (but can't tie bows, zip up zippers)• Brush teeth without help• Draw simple shapes (roughly) when asked• Build block structures that are vertical and horizontal• Cut around pictures with scissors• Fold a napkin into a triangle or rectangle||• Draw a person with three parts• Bathe self without assistance• Use toilet alone and wipe• Begin to make the letters of own name|
Is My Child on Track?
Smarty is 2 years and 4 months now, and she can sort of do what a two-year-old is expected to do, but she is completely not interested in dressing herself, gets upset faced with a closed door, and quickly loses interest in the games involved blocks unless they are Duplo blocks. It's the same with feeding - she can use a spoon and a fork, but she also quickly loses interest and either switches to hands or asks to be fed. So about two months ago we launched a "program" to help our daughter with her fine motor skills. Of course, her preschool with its arts projects and older kids helped a lot, but we also tried to increase her exposure to activities requiring fine motor skills:
- Playing with play-dough - rolling, shaping, cutting, etc.
- Painting with brushes, I highly recommend Crayola pot set, the colors are so brilliant.
- Getting her toddler scissors. They are still big for her, but she is extremely interested in cutting and pasting (with help).
- Scribbling with crayons and on the magnetic doodle board. That's where we can see the improvement most.
- Playing with stickers.
- Building with Duplo.
- Playing with chunky puzzles
Best Fine Motor Activties for Toddlers
- Building with nuts and bolts from Fun a Day
- Pipe Cleaner Fun from Sugar Aunts
- Blocks and Tongs from Hands On: As We Grow
- Glue Dots and Buttons from Tinker Lab
- Pasta and Playdough from Happy Hooligans
- Scooping and Pouring from One Perfect Day
- Pipe Cleaners and Colander from Hands On: As We Grow
- Stacking Cups from The Imagination Tree
- Turkey Baster Squeeze from Playdough to Plato
- Rainbow Pasta Necklaces from The Imagination Tree