How can I help my child develop fine motor skills?

Play is a great way to help children develop fine motor skills. Playing with toys such as puzzles, blocks, Lego, lacing beads, and paper dolls are not only fun, they help your child strengthen hand and finger muscles, and improve coordination. Another fun way for your child to practice fine motor skills is through art activities such as tracing, coloring, finger painting, cutting, pasting, and playing with play dough. Even simple everyday activities such as getting dressed provide a great opportunity for your child to practice movements that require fine motor control such as buttoning and unbuttoning buttons, doing up zippers, and fastening snaps. Just remember that developing fine motor skills takes time, so try to keep the activities fun and not overly frustrating for your child.

Jennie Ito, Ph.D.

Child Development Expert

Jennie Ito is a mother of two and a child development consultant who specializes in children’s play and toys. Before becoming a consultant for LeapFrog, she was an intern at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and later worked as a content expert for the Association of Children’s Museum’s “Playing for Keeps” Play Initiative. Jennie earned her doctorate degree in developmental psychology at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.