Fine Motor Skills can be practiced at home between occupational therapy sessions.

Fine Motor Skills

Opening jars can strengthen fine motor skills

It is great to get extra practice for fine motor development, especially if a child is delayed with these skills. Even if the child is already receiving occupational therapy, practicing on a regular basis at home between sessions will support further development.

The following activity can support fine motor skills development:

Kids are usually curious about what they can find inside containers. They also can be motivated to open containers that are clear and hold their favorite toys or treats inside.  Gather various sized containers (some clear, some not) that have pull-up and screw on lids. Put enticing items inside, and secure the lids (not too tightly). If your child is a young toddler, do not place items inside the containers that are too small and present a choking hazard.  As your child progresses you can increase the tightness of the lids.

Offer the sealed containers to your child. You can demonstrate opening one up, and reaching in for the surprise. Pull out the object you find, and show enthusiasm for the treat or toy. This activity will help develop your child’s finger coordination and strength, which is a fine motor skill. Fine motor skills are important for activities of daily living. Some of these include:

  • writing
  • coloring and drawing
  • cutting
  • buttoning
  • zipping

You can increase the developmental benefits of this activity by focusing on language development during the task as well. Teach the concepts in, out, on, off as you play with the containers. Don’t forget to label the items inside the containers to improve vocabulary. Modeling is an excellent way to entice your youngster into joining you. Modeling simply means that you demonstrate the actions and verbalizations that you want your child to do or say. Have fun container stuffing and dumping!