Fine Motor Development – 1 to 2-year-olds

Deep Concentration

Many one-year-old babies  love to pick up raisins or breadcrumbs using the pincher grasp –thumb and forefinger. Deeply concentrated and focused, they manage to feed themselves with sophisticated precision.

It may take some time but it is they usually enjoy the activity and can happily carry on for literally hours. A little later, they will gain control over the spoon.

Dropping Things Into Bowls

The development of muscles in the hands, wrists, and feet provides a toddler with more freedom to choose what they want to do.

  • Can drop things into little bowls or container.
  • If you give them two toys, one in each hand, they can compare the toys.
  • The line between fine and gross motor skills is difficult to make.
  • Toddlers often use large movements when they are scribbling, stacking toys, and pushing buttons.
  • Around the second birthday, toddlers are using their hands in ways that are more intricate and it is possible to see a difference between gross and fine motor skills more clearly.

Pulling Strings – Pushing Buttons

  • Nesting things is fun, and plastic containers can keep a toddler amused for a long time.
  • The precision is increasing and a toddler can use their fingers to push buttons on a phone.
  •  Toys where you pull a string are often fun and the hand dominance can sometimes be seen during the second year.
  •  Hand dominance is fully developed around a child’s sixth birthday.
  • Turning pages in books can be done even when the pages are of paper rather than thick cardboard or cloth.
  • The development of fine motor skills allows at toddler to pull of their hat, socks and shoes. But many babies seem to be born with this skill!

Different Kinds of Motor Skills

  • The development of eye- hand coordination is an important part of fine motor skills.
  • Visual motor skills refer to skills that relies on the toddler’s ability to co-ordinate his vision and his hands – playing with building block, Lego and puzzles.
  • Graphomotor skills are activities that involve using a writing tool and toddler like to explore crayons and pencils.
  • Holding a crayon is a sign of fine motor development.
  • It is easier to hold thick pencils and there are special pencils for younger children.
  • The mouth is still used to explore things, and make sure that your toddler does not eat the crayons.

Knocking Things Down
At eighteen months, a toddler loves to stacks blocks and the most fun part is often to knock things down.

  • Puzzles and shape sorters are often fun to use, and these activities provide a child with opportunities further to increase their fine motor skills.
  • Knob puzzles are ideal for younger children and the knob allows a toddler to slide the pieces into place rather than having to fit pieces together.
  • Squeezing water out of the sponges can help a toddler to develop their fine motor skills. Sponges and a bowl of water can keep them busy for a long time.

Arms into  Sleeves

  • Around the second birthday, opening drawer can become an obsession!
  • A two-year-old is easier to dress and he has control over the arms, which means that  he can put his arms into sleeves.
  • Many toddlers little craft activities, such as stringing activities with BIG beads.
  • Towards his third birthday, your child may enjoy learning to cut with safety scissors.
Photo:Little Hand Colored by Danilo Rizzuti

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