Fine motor skills and gross motor skills

Fine motor skills are the ability to make movements using the small muscles in our hands and wrists. Kids use fine motor skills to do many school-related tasks. We use fine motor skills to make small movements. These movements come so naturally to most people that we usually don’t think about them. Fine motor skills are complex, however. They involve the coordinated efforts of the brain and muscles, and they’re built on the gross motor skills that allow us to make bigger movements. Kids need to use fine motor skills to do many school-related tasks. These include:

  • Holding a crayon or pencil
  • Drawing pictures and writing neatly
  • Stacking blocks and stringing beads
  • Using scissors, rulers and other tools

Gross motor (physical) skills are those which require whole body movement and which involve the large (core stabilizing) muscles of the body to perform everyday functions, such as standing and walking, running and jumping, and sitting upright at the table. They also include eye-hand coordination skills such as ball skills (throwing, catching, and kicking) as well as riding a bike or a scooter and swimming. Gross motor skills are related to other abilities. These include:

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Body awareness
  • Physical strength
  • Reaction time

All of these abilities help kids participate successfully in activities at school, at home and in the community.

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