Kids | Toddlers

Developing Motor Skills in Your Preschooler

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Fine and gross motor skills are essential for your preschool-age child. If you are wondering what fine and gross motor skills your preschooler should be working on let me help!

As your child grows, they will begin to become more coordinated and can work on increasing their fine and gross motor skills. As they learn and develop, they will also start mastering emotions, social skills, and even cognitive (thinking) skills.


Fine Motor Skills Activities

Fine motor skills are the movement of small muscles and usually involve synchronization of the fingers, hands, and eyes.  The use of these muscles is essential for areas like academics, play, and self-care.  Things like drawing, playing with toys, eating, putting shoes on, etc all involve the use of fine motor skills.

Your preschooler will learn to trace shapes with somewhat accuracy, color in the lines, and find which hand they will be dominant in. As they get a bit older, they will begin to work with using scissors. Using scissors is a skill that takes time, but learning to cut is the first step, and then later you can work with them at cutting lines on the paper.

They will become more independent in the area of self-care. They will want to start dressing, eating independently, and brushing their own teeth.

Other fine motor activities are:

  • Tracing letters and numbers
  • Stringing beads on a string
  • Sorting objects
  • Learning to hold a pencil correctly
  • Get dressed alone (mostly)
  • Learning how to use scissors
  • Using silverware properly
  • Coloring within the lines
  • Buttoning clothes
  • Playing with puzzles
  • Building with blocks
  • Eating good (feeding self, opening sandwich bags, etc.)
  • Playing with slime

Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills are required use of the whole body. These physical skills help preschoolers perform everyday tasks like running, kicking, jumping, and climbing.

Below are some gross motor skills to give you some ideas on what you could do to work with your child.

  • Standing on one foot
  • Working on riding a balance bike
  • Sweeping with mom or dad
  • Climbing the stairs
  • Kicking a ball around
  • Running without falling (too much)
  • Throwing a ball

These are all pretty easy activities that are fairly simple to incorporate into your day. During playtime try and focus here and there on a handful of these fine and gross motor skills and help your child begin to master them. This will help set them up for great success when school starts.

RELATED ARTICLES: Benefits of Sensory Play in Toddlers


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