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Defining gross motor and fine motor skills

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I want to set my son up with activities that promote development of both fine and gross motor skills.

Gross motor skills use the large muscles of the body.  Running, jumping, hopping, steps, throwing, balance while dressing or sitting.

Fine motor skills use the small muscles of the hands and fingers.  These include grasp, manipulating and releasing small objects (such as coloring materials, buttons, zippers, scissors, silverware, toothbrushes).  Also included are hand preference and coordination of both hands.

These motor skills must be developed to emphasize self-care skills and learning play, as well as to aid in building self-esteem and creating important social skills.

PicMonkey Collage

Skills your child should develop by age four:

Fine Motor Skills

  • select hand preference for tool use
  • pincer grasp (i.e. threading a shoelace, snaps, buttons, zips, laces)
  • screwing and unscrewing a small jar
  • build a tower of 10+ blocks
  • create block designs (i.e. train or bridge with 6+ blocks)
  • complete 10 piece puzzle
  • use pencil grip
  • uses scissors properly
  • copy lines, circle, square, cross
  • draw a recognizable person

Gross Motor Skills

  • walk and run around objects
  • walk up and down steps with one foot on each step
  • stand on one foot for 3+ seconds
  • hop on one foot
  • jump with both feet
  • catch a ball with elbows flexed and arms in front of body
  • throw a ball with direction
  • kick a ball
  • pedal a tricycle
  • enjoy playground play and equipment

The above lists have helped me organize some of our activities and I hope they help you too!

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