What You Need to Know About Fine Motor Skills

Dr. Lyndsey Garbi
Thin Header White Wave

For the most part, the sequence of fine motor skills development is the same for all children, but the pace at which they acquire the skills differs. These skills, called developmental milestones, are acquired by the natural interaction, physical growth, and learning patterns children gain in their first years of life. Each child is different, and all develop at their own pace.

The different types of development include:

  1. Gross motor
  2. Fine motor
  3. Language
  4. Social skills

I will break down the sequence of fine motor development here.  These skills use the body's small muscles to accomplish tasks such as picking up a tiny cracker, holding a pencil, feeding, and dressing.

Age 0 - 3 months:

Fine motor skills usually start with the reflexive grasp. Children grab your thumb when it's near them.

Age 3 - 6 months:

Age 6 - 9 months:

Age 9 - 12 months:

Age 12 - 18 months:

Age 18 months - 2 years:

Age 2 years:

Age 3 years:

Age 4 years:

Age 5 years:

Age 6 years:

Your doctor will review these milestones with you at yearly well-checks to ensure your child is on track with the development of their fine motor skills. If you think your child is falling behind, check with a pediatrician. They may recommend specialists in your area that can help your child build these skills.