Fine motor skills are the smaller actions we make, such as using our thumb and finger to pick up an object, wiggling our toes or using our lips and tongue to taste and feel objects.
Hand skills are an essential part of a child’s development as they allow the child to interact with their environment and gain important self help skills such as dressing and feeding themselves.
Some of the hand skills that are needed to develop greater independence include: reach, grasp, carrying objects, releasing objects, in-hand manipulation, and bilateral coordination. Reach is the ability to stabilize the trunk and shoulder to allow the child to extend their arm to make contact with an object. Grasp is the ability to obtain an object with the hand. The ability to transport an object from one place to another is accomplished by carrying objects. In-hand manipulation is the ability to move or adjust an object within the hand. The effective use of both hands together is the definition of bilateral coordination.
Toys that can assist with Fine Motor Skill development include: stacking toys, play dough and similar, counters, shape sorters, lacing toys, hammer toys, mazes, puzzles and building toys.