6 Fun Ways to Strengthen Fine Motor Skills in Young Children
Updated: Feb 14
ADHD is a commonly diagnosed childhood condition that impacts a child's development. According to the Center for Disease Control, 9% of children were diagnosed with ADHD in 2016. ADHD children who do not receive early intervention underperform academically. Research studies show that between 30-50% of children with ADHD also have difficulty with motor control. As a result, ADHD children typically struggle with writing.
Here are some ways parents can develop fine motor skills in young children:
1. Build with Blocks
Stacking blocks to build a large tower, a structure, or anything creative helps children use the tiny muscles in their hands.
2. Use Pattern Blocks
Patterns blocks are a wonderful way to help children with their fine motor growth. They also develop visual perception, a skill set related to math concepts. Activity cards with shapes and outlines structure the use of the pattern blocks.
3. Use Legos
Children gravitate towards building, and Lego Duplos are an easy way to nurture that love. These sets also provide opportunities to engage a child’s imagination. Once they master Duplos, they can graduate to Legos.
4. String Beads
Lacing sets or beads help children with motor control since they need to hold the tip of the lace, similar to holding a pencil.
5. Use Tangrams
Tangrams allow kids to use the small muscles in their fingers to solve a puzzle. Parents can find activity cards that help promote use of tangrams.
6. Game Play
A game like Operation uses electronic tweezers that help children get used to holding a pencil. Another game for developing fine motor is Sneaky Snacky Squirrel. Players use a toy squirrel holder to pick up colored acorns to match their game board.
Parents can create the necessary environment for children to develop fine motor control. An Educational Therapist/Professional can further support children when conditions like ADHD get in the way of learning.
Written by Raffi Bandarian, Educational Therapist/Professional