When we think of fine motor skills the word dexterity often comes to mind. These skills are the coordination of small muscle movements, such as in the fingers and hands, (also toes, lips, tongue, etc.) along with the eyes. Often a child with a fine motor skill deficit may have difficulty with handwriting, painting, using scissors, and even dressing themselves or tying shoes. You may even be surprised to know that fine motor deficits can affect facial expressions and eating.
A Doctor can make a referral to an Occupational Therapist who can do an evaluation to see if there are fine motor skill deficits and recommend specific interventions for your child/student. This may also happen within a school setting as well. If you already have that information, or just want to encourage those skills in your child/student, there are lots of activities that are done everyday that work on those fine motor skills. For example, just passing an object from one hand to the other is a wonderful activity that works on fine motor skills. Picking up those little o-shaped cereal pieces are great for the pincer grasp. Building towers with blocks and cutting with scissors, not to mention learning how to tie shoes, all work on fine motor skills. Plus they are all so much fun!!
Do2Learn has a Fine Motor SkillsActivity Book available that is designed to improve fine motor skills. It contains activities that provide positive sensory feedback and enhances hand-eye coordination. These activities also exercise the muscles needed to manipulate a pencil in a mature tripod grasp. Work on this grasp is needed to prevent fatigue during handwriting activities.
For more information on fine motor skills development and activities be sure to check out this page.