Fine motor skills depend on the use of the small muscle groups in your hands. By coordinating these small muscles to do tasks such as picking up a small piece of food or buttoning a shirt you are utilizing your fine motor skills.


Typically fine motor skills start developing within the first few months of a child’s life, starting with bringing their hands to their face and swiping at objects. Their grasping skills become more complex as they become stronger and practice using their muscles. Instead of grasping objects with a whole fist, they begin to use different parts of the hand in more coordinated grasp patterns. If a child struggles to grasp and manipulate objects these could be signs of fine motor delay. Working with an occupational therapist can help target the underlying skills that are the cause of the delay. There are many tools and techniques that can be used to strengthen hand muscles and develop the grasp patterns needed for play and learning.