fine motor school activities for kids

Fine & Gross Motor Skills Development In Children

Fine & Gross Motor Skills Development In Children

Amongst other skill-building traits, the development of a child’s fine & gross motor skillset demands movements. Like cognitive, emotional, & social skills, these physical skills cultivate their ability to grasp, hold, pinch, walk, run, and what not? As these movements are a must for everyday tasks to vitalize their action control. Strengthening these small & big muscles promotes balance & coordination in your little one’s whole body. 

The best way to encourage fine & gross motor skills in early childhood is by incorporating play-based activities. Their motor skills development begins right from the upward & moves downwards the body. Therefore, your child will be able to control their neck & head movements first followed by their back. The development of gross motor skills in each body part will be prior to fine motor skills development. 

Therefore, we at Tickle Right focus on enhancing such skills by exposing them to the most popular motor skills activities.


What Are Fine & Gross Motor Skills? 

motor development in children

Fine Motor Skills are the strength development traits related to minor movements of small muscles. These muscle sets intrinsically involve fingers, toes, wrists, & others. They play an integral part in many day-to-day life activities. Such as picking up something, buttoning/unbuttoning, eating food with a fork, tying shoelaces, writing, coloring, & others. The main purpose of these skills entails control & coordination between small muscles. 

Gross Motor Skills are the strength development traits related to bigger movements of larger muscles. These muscle sets intrinsically involve arms, legs, feet, & others. Besides, these skills enable children to sit, stand, walk, run, jump, swim & do much more. It engages the core muscles of your child’s body & facilitates hand-eye coordination. Their active role in boosting the brain’s neural pathways promotes instant reflex reactions. 


What Is The Difference Between Fine & Gross Motor Skills? 

motor development in children

Motor skills development is largely classified into Fine Motor Skills & Gross Motor Skills. On the one hand, the gross motor skills in a child’s body extend to the movement & coordination of large muscles. It typically involves muscle sets leading to actions like sitting, standing, crawling, walking, & others. However, fine motor skills on the other hand pertain to skills including small muscles. They set into motion activities like holding an object, drawing, writing, peeling fruits, & vegetables, etc. 


Developmental Milestones For Fine & Gross Motor Skills

The following are the general developmental milestones in terms of fine & gross motor skill building –


1-2 Years

  • Stands & picks up tiny objects 
  • Sitting, crawling, walking on their own
  • Turning pages of books
  • Opens a door knob
  • Walk up & down the stairs


2-3 Years

  • Holds crayon with fingertips
  • Jump with both feet in one place
  • Draw dots, lines & circles
  • Snips pages with scissors
  • Rides bicycle with pedals


3-4 Years

  • Moves fingers more independently
  • Makes more precise drawings
  • Handles simple dressing 
  • Use playdough to make edibles
  • Jump with both feet simultaneously


4-5 Years

  • Copying of cross & square
  • Throws ball & catches it at bounce
  • Write names & numbers
  • Walks a balance beam
  • Able to button clothes


Top 5 Fine Motor Activities For Kids

The best motor skills activities for kids will help them with muscle movement & coordination. Achieving such muscle control takes time. However, if paid attention at a young age, your little one will be controlling their moves in no time. 

motor development in children

1. Art & Painting 

Practicing art & painting is a great fine motor activity for young kids. Not only does it stimulate creativity & expression, but also builds finger, wrist, & hand dexterity. It improves their hand-eye coordination & encourages fine motor skills. You can help your kids try finger painting, pour painting, painting with bubble wrap, & splatter painting. 


2. Playing Dough 

Another excellent activity to keep your little one busy & build strength in their little hands is play dough. When kids give different shapes & forms to play dough using their little hands, it builds strength. The rolling & squishing dough movements promote fine motor skills with a healthy playtime! It’s an effective means to develop control & coordination. 


3. Getting Dressed 

Who doesn’t love to get all dressed yeah! It’s time to build your child’s confidence & encourage them to get dressed on their own. It’s a way to teach them the virtues of getting independent & promote hand dexterity. Activities like buttoning/unbuttoning, zipping, and tying shoes promote flexibility, balance, coordination, & strength. 


4. Solve Puzzles 

Puzzles play an important role in building reasoning skills & developing problem-solving approaches. As children handle small & large puzzle pieces, it significantly impacts the coordination of their small muscles & improves their intellect level. Picking up & arranging these pieces makes their hand & eye work together. 


5. Sponge Play

Squeezing a sponge out of a bowl filled with water is the best way to promote fine motor skills. It helps children comprehend the concepts like complete, empty, wet, & dry. You can add fun toys or buy different shapes of sponges for your little one. This will make the overall activity interesting & strengthen their hands & forearms. 


Best 5 Gross Motor Activities For Preschoolers 

Children love moving, jumping, climbing, & whatnot! These activities will encourage your toddlers & preschoolers to gain large muscle control. Achieving this will significantly simplify handling simpler tasks & moving toward long-lasting health. 

motor development in children

1. Dancing 

Your child’s amazing dance skills can do much more than bring a smile to everyone’s faces. It is a great form of exercise that has shown proven significant benefits in the gross motor development of kids. It promotes balance & coordination via movements during the dance. It should come as no surprise that it’s best to develop a child emotionally, socially, & cognitively. 


2. Outdoor Games 

Outdoor games play a great role in stimulating a child’s whole body movement towards improving balance & gross motor development. Taking them to the playground will make them the happiest & boost their physical stamina and fitness. Try introducing some of the best indoor & outdoor games this monsoon for improved motor skills & a lot of fun!


3. Cycling 

Bike riding or cycling offers enormous benefits to a child’s mental & physical health. It helps with boosting gross motor skills by improving balance, coordination, & strengthening. A 10-15 minute bike ride every day will bring great joy, strong muscles, & emotional wellness too. Therefore, take your child to nearby places to promote overall health benefits. 


4. Bubble Play 

Most children often enjoy popping bubbles to the fullest.  It is always a great joy to see them playing with bubbles. When they try to reach to pop bubbles & practice moving skills via stretching & reaching. This movement in the surrounding leads to effective hand-eye coordination along with enhanced visual tracking.


5. Swimming

Children who swim develop fine & gross motor skills faster than non-swimmers. It is a must-follow activity for your little ones to improve their cardiovascular health. You can engage them with some of the best pool games for remarkable health benefits. And not only they will be the best swimmers but also be experts as they grow up!




  1. Why is the development of gross motor skills important? 

The development of gross motor skills is important for the following reasons – 

  • To perform day-to-day life functions 
  • Improves the coordination level 
  • Boosts self-confidence & esteem
  • Promotes physical strength
  • Maintains balance & control


  1. How to encourage fine motor skills in children? 

The following ways prove to be useful to encourage the motor skills in children – 

  • Painting 
  • Puzzles 
  • Play-Dough
  • Writing
  • Sponge Plays


  1. What are some gross motor activities for preschoolers? 

The following are some great gross motor skills activities for preschoolers – 

  • Bubble Play
  • Hopscotch
  • Obstacle Course 
  • Cycling
  • Jumping
  • Swimming



motor development in children
We hope that you are now familiar with some of the best activities that can improve your child’s fine & gross motor skills. Developing these skills in the child is the first priority of today’s parents, but sometimes they may not be able to do it successfully. With the help of the above-mentioned activities, you’ll be able to focus on their long-lasting health without much effort.

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