How do children develop fine motor skills? Children’s development is influenced by their physical capabilities, environment and the demands of the activity in which they’re engaging. Children’s ability to grasp objects develops gradually over the first five years of life from grabbing a toy with their whole hand to being able to hold a pencil between several fingers and write the letters of the alphabet. Over this period of time, children’s fingers increase in length, their hands increase in breadth and they move from using all fingers to grab a toy to picking up small pieces with just two fingers. By 2½, children can have a strong desire to put things together and take them apart. They become increasingly able to do quite complex finger plays like Five Little Ducks. These games not only provide opportunities for fine motor skill development, but other learning as well!