The importance of fine motor skills
Fine motor refers to the group of skills involved in the ability to manipulate smaller objects with the hands and fingers, for example, grasping, holding and pinching.
Fine motor skills are distinct from gross motor skills which involve the development of larger muscle groups needed for movements such as kicking, running and jumping.
Fine motor skills are necessary for many aspects of self-care as children, for example: putting on shoes, feeding themselves, cleaning their own teeth. Fine motor skills are also critical for the development of emergent writing.
Writing is a complex process that requires the development of language, visual information, grapheme knowledge, word knowledge and concepts of print, to name a few. The motor control to produce text through drawing, mark-making and symbolic representations of letters is vital in the communication of the message.
The development of muscles from the whole arm through to the finger tips provides children with the strength required to manipulate mark-making equipment.
The developed strength and control of the hand and fingers supports the beginnings of a pincer grip, useful for gripping pencils and pens.
Fine motor can be developed through experiences involving materials that support building strength in the arms, hands and fingers as well as opportunities to mark-make, draw and write.
In Oak Class we try to try to make the process of developing fine motor skills, and in turn, learning to control the size, shape and orientation of the children's writing, a fun and engaging. experience. We use a wide range of creative activities and resources for our daily 'Formation Station' sessions to support the children's developing control when using mark-making and cutting tools.