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Why Are Fine Motor Skills Important?

By Apricus Health

1st June 2022

Fine motor skills are the skills that help us perform manual tasks with our hands.

Fine motor skills can be learned and improved, and they are important for everyday activities, such as writing, drawing, and playing the piano. They are also important for learning to read, write, and do math. Learning fine motor skills can be especially helpful for students with dysgraphia, writing difficulties, and learning disabilities.

Fine motor skills are important for daily life. They help us write, draw, and play. They also help us tobe efficient in activities at home, school and in the community.. By answering the question of “Why are fine motor skills important?”, this article will show you some of the ways fine motor skills are skills for life

What Are Fine Motor Skills?

Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscles within the eyes, hands, and fingers used to accomplish a manual task.

Fine motor skills are used in all sorts of manual tasks, but are especially important in tasks such as:

  • Handwriting
  • Typing
  • Drawing
  • Sketching
  • Crafting
  • Threading
  • Opening and closing zippers
  • Turning doorknobs and keys
  • Buttoning and unbuttoning
  • Tying shoelaces

It is important to note that fine motor skills are NOT the same as handwriting skills. Handwriting skills include fine motor skills however are a different set of skills including cognition, visual perception and visual motor integration. Handwriting skills are the skills that help us write letters, numbers, and words.

What Are Gross Motor Skills? 

Gross motor skills are defined as the body’s ability to move that is not dependent on the use of the hands. Gross motor skills are critical for many reasons: They help us develop coordination, balance, and strength. They help us learn how to maintain our equilibrium when we are young. They help us learn to walk and run and climb. 

An important step to developing gross motor skills is to start by practicing basic body movements such as jumping, running, and kicking. For children, this means sitting, crawling, jumping, throwing, and climbing.

How to Teach Fine Motor Skills

Start by demonstrating the skill to your child and asking him to repeat the movements. If they do it correctly, praise them. If they do it incorrectly, help them correct the mistakes. Keep demonstrating and asking your child to follow your directions until they are able to accomplish the task on his own. You can also practice these skills with an adult.

It can take months to years to achieve fine motor skills, but the goal is to develop them in a way that is fun and engaging for the child. For example, if your child is learning to write, you can use a a variety of mediums such as painting on a vertical surface, chalkboard &chalk, pens and paper to draw a picture, write a letter, and have them practice their handwriting. Or, if your child is learning to draw, you can use chalk, paper, and crayons to draw pictures.

How to Test Fine Motor Skills

A fine motor skill test is a test that is used to measure how well a person can use their hand, finger, toes, or feet to perform a task. 

There are a variety of ways to test your child’s fine motor skills. You can test your child’s motor skills by:

  • Tracing shapes on paper
  • Writing their name
  • Cutting out objects
  • Getting dressed with fasteners and buttons
  • Building with small blocksg. legos
  • Transfer items to different containers
  • Collecting small objects from the ground

How to Train Fine Motor Skills 

There are many different ways to train your fine motor skills, such as by: tracing or copying shapes, drawing pictures, cutting out shapes with scissors, drawing with crayons, tracing with a pencil, etc. Playing regularly with toys and games that require different types of grasp patterns such as using your thumb, index and middle fingers, to pick up small items will help develop the strength required in these fingers.

You can also practice with equipment, such as by practicing with a chalkboard, chalk, and paper to draw a picture, write a letter, and have them practice handwriting. Training doesn't have to limit tech exposure either, you can also practice by writing with a computer or tablet, such as using a computer mouse, and keyboard, but there are many ways to practice this too.

Wrapping Up 

Children with highly developed fine motor skills do better in school. They also have an advantage over their peers when it comes to learning. They often have motor skills that are more advanced than those of their peers. They are more active and less likely to be distracted.

Investing in the development of fine motor skills is paramount to early development and ensuring that your young one gets a head start in their formative years. If you’d like to learn more about the importance of fine motor skills in early development, get in touch with Apricus Health today.