Fine motor skills, pencil grip

Children learn about the world by touching everything. By feeling objects, they get meaning. Babies do this in combination with exploring by mouth. By having the opportunity to feel many shapes and different materials, the brain develops and the world around the child gets meaning.

A baby first uses the whole hand and then the fingers. Thereafter, the use of an object in the hand like a fork or a pencil is developed.
Using a pair of tweezers is a specific movement of the thumb and the index finger. Muscles must be trained on all the individual fingers in order to be successful.

First, children practice these movements with both hands. Only when a preferred hand has been discovered by the child, should you offer a child to a pencil or pen to hold.

The pen grip is a complex skill of the hands. Cutting is also a complex fine motor skill. The independence of children depends on the development of fine motor skills. Think of  zipping, button fastening and tying shoelaces.

Which problems may appear at school when fine motor skills not yet fully developed:

-poor pen grip

-writing large letters

-cannot draw between lines

-poor use of scissors


-unreadable handwriting

-put objects in the mouth

-poor independence

What can you do?

Children do playful and fun-oriented movements. Children develop muscle tone in the fingers and get control over their fine motor skills. Movement develops from gross to fine motor. More fine motor skills the more independence are attained.


Complete program with activities and excercises for all named symptoms at this page.

More information

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Fine motor skills,
pencil grip

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