Fine Motor Development

Fine Motor Development

This primarily involves the development of fine manipulation skills and coordination with age.

Hand eye coordination-

  • Between 12 and 20 weeks, the child observes his own hands very intently, this is called hand regard. Its persistence after 20 weeks is considered abnormal.
  • At 3 to 4 months, hands of the child come together in midline as he plays.
  • If a red ring is dangled in front of him, he fixes his attention on it, and then tries to reach for it. Initially he may overshoot but eventually he gets it and brings it to his mouth. Grasp is best assessed by offering a red cube to the child.
  • A 6-month-old infant reaches and holds the cube (larger object) in a crude manner using the ulnar aspect of his hand. He can transfer objects from one hand to other by 6-7 months.

  • The child is able to grasp from the radial side of hand at 8--9 months.
  • By the age of 1 year mature grasp (index finger and thumb) is evident.

  •  By 9-10 months, the child approaches the pellet by an index finger and lifts it using finger thumb apposition, termed 'pincer' grasp.

Hand-to-mouth coordination-

  • At 6 months, as the ability to chew develops, the child can take a biscuit to his mouth and chew. At this age, he tends to mouth all objects offered to him.

  • This tendency abates by around 1 yrs. of age. By this age, he tries to feed self from a cup but spills some of the contents.
  • By 15 months, the child can pick up a cup and drink from it without much spilling.
  • By 18 months, he can feed himself well using a spoon.

Advanced hand skills-

  • With advancing age, the child can use hands to perform finer activities. Much of the advanced skills depend partly on the opportunity given by the caretakers to the child. At around 15 months, he turns 2-3 pages of a book at a time and scribbles on a paper if given a pencil.

  • By 18 months, he can build a tower of 2-3 cubes and draw a stroke with pencil.
  • By 2 year he can unscrew lids and turn door knobs and his block skills also advance. He now draws a circular stroke. He now can turn pages of a book, one at a time.

Dressing Between-

  • 18 and 30 months of age, children are very eager to learn dressing skills. Undressing being easier, is learned before dressing.
  • At 1 year the child starts to pull off mittens, caps and socks.
  • At around 18 months, he can unzip, but fumbles with buttons.
  • By 2 year he can put on shoes or socks and can undress completely.
  • By 3 year he can dress and undress fully, if helped with buttons.
  • By 5 year he can tie his shoelaces as well.