Physical Health and Motor Development

Component 3: Fine Motor Development

Standard 3.a: Children develop small-muscle control, strength, and coordination.

By the following age ranges, children typically, for example:

  • Hold onto a toy when it is handed to them
  • Reach for, grasp, and shake things
  • Bring hands and objects to their mouth
  • Transfer a toy from one hand to another
  • Pat, shake, or hit objects
  • Mimic a hand clap or wave
  • Turn the pages of books and point to pictures while being read to
  • Hold objects in both hands
  • Pick up very small objects with their index finger and thumb
  • Bang two toys together
  • Play pat-a-cake without much help (such as someone moving their hands for them)
  • Begin to stack two to three blocks
  • Open cabinets, drawers, and boxes
  • String large beads
  • Turn containers over to empty out the contents
  • Remove lids from containers
  • Stack four to six large blocks/cubes
  • Attempt snipping with scissors
  • String large beads onto shoelaces
  • Turn knobs and unscrew lids, put lids on post, unwrap candy, etc.
  • Put three or four pieces into a puzzle board
  • Dig and scoop sand or water
  • Use scissors with adult support
  • String medium-sized beads onto shoelaces
  • Continues to fit together manipulatives and connecting toys (e.g., Legos, bristle blocks)
  • Use scissors with purpose
  • With adult support, pour milk or spoon out fruit
  • With adult support, zips clothes
  • Fold a piece of paper with accuracy and symmetry
  • Works on puzzles of 10 or more pieces
  • Use simple tools (e.g., stapler, hole punch, scissors, tape dispenser)
  • Holds paper and makes precise cuts to cut out a square
  • Button and zip clothes

Standard 3.b: Children develop writing and drawing skills. 

By the following age ranges, children typically, for example:

  • Grasp objects with their thumb, index, and middle fingers or other adaptive method (e.g., using pincer grip)
  • Bring their hands to their midline (e.g., moving hands towards each other over the middle of their body
  • Grab and hold large writing objects, such as crayons, with their whole fist or other adaptive method
  • Scribble spontaneously on paper
  • Holds large writing objects, such as crayons, with a variety of writing grips, and uses with more control.
  • Make spontaneous dots, lines, and wobbly circles when painting or drawing
  • Fold paper approximately in half
  • Hold a pencil in an approximate writing grip or other adaptive method
  • Attempt to copy a drawn circle
  • Attempt to draw a cross
  • Attempt to use a horizontal and vertical stroke
  • Hold a regular pencil writing grip or other adaptive method
  • Use horizontal and vertical stroke
  • Make a cross with a marker or pencil
  • Draw a circle
  • Write letter or numeral-like forms
  • Draw recognizable shapes
  • Write some letters and numerals using a writing grip or other adaptive method
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