Fine motor skills have to do with the use of the smaller muscles of the hands, the ones that help you in opening lunch boxes or using scissors or writing something with a pen. They influence the effectivity of the task and the speed at which the task is performed. To have practical fine motor skills, one requires to have some independent skills and use them simultaneously to make the task easier and faster.
So why are fine motor skills important?
Fine motor skills are essential because they are needed for everyday tasks – you’ll need them when you get dressed, or when you brush your teeth or when you use cutlery. You also need them when it comes to academic skills – you’ll need them when you want to draw or write or color and even if you’re going to cut something. If you do not possess the ability to do these everyday tasks, it is frustrating and stressful. That’s why children who have this issue have a decreased self-esteem and may struggle academically as well. They can also have problems in developing appropriate independence in necessary life skills – such as fastening buttons and snaps, opening containers, etc.
What are the building blocks which can help in developing fine motor skills?
For this one, use two hands together, with one of them leading. Open a jar lid with one hand and with the other one stabilize the jar.
Cross the Mid-line
This one is the capacity of crossing the imaginary line that goes from the child’s nose to his pelvis, which divides the body into 2 sides: the left one and the right one.
The strengths of hands and fingers
This is the capacity to exert force against resistance by using the hands and fingers – this will allow the power of the muscle to control the movement.
The hand-eye coordination
This is the capacity to process the pieces of information which are received from the eye to control, guide and use the hands when doing a task such as writing.
The hand dominance
For this one, use one hand for a task that allows the skills to develop.
The hand division
For this one, use the thumb, index and middle finger for manipulation, and the fourth and the little fingers are kept into the palm (they’re not doing anything but giving stability for the other three fingers.)
This one helps in manipulating tools – you may hold and move pencils and scissors, being in full control of the situation. The same happens for toothbrush and hairbrush.
The awareness of the body
This has to do with the information that the brain receives from the muscles that allow us to be aware of the position of our bodies, as well as their movements. This one can help in controlling the actions.