Kids occupational therapy tips for fine motor skills

Developing fine motor skills is an important part of occupational therapy for kids. At Cooee Speech Pathology in Brisbane north, our kids occupational therapist has some useful tips for parents to help their child develop fine motor skills.

Fine motor skills for craft

The skills required are:

  • pincer grip – for picking up small items, threading, peeling off the back of stickers
  • co-ordination of two hands together – one hand to do one job and one hand to do another, such as scissor skills or threading
  • scissor skills – being able to put thumbs on top and co-ordinate both hands, to have one hold and the other squeeze for snipping
  • wrist and finger movement – for drawing or painting glue in the correct place.

Kids occupational therapy and craft activities to scaffold or build these skills:

Level One

Gluing feathers, paper, cupcake patties (large items) to paper, no pattern required.
Scrunching up crepe paper for gluing in one hand – increasing finger manipulation and strength.
Adding straight lines to the craft e.g. stems on cupcake patties to make flowers.

Level Two

Scrunching small bits of crepe paper for gluing.
Gluing items purposefully e.g. feathers, sequins, buttons, scrunched up bits of crepe paper (smaller items).
Adding all different lines – squiggly or straight to add dimension e.g. stems, smell lines, radiance lines, grass etc.

Level Three

Folding paper creatively e.g. origami, to create dimension.
Cutting out small items e.g. small flowers, hearts, swirls etc.
Gluing in layers and gluing small items.

Motivators don’t have to be an item – that will cost you a lot! Try using rewards or motivators like going for a Pokemon walk for 30 minutes, allowing 30 minutes iPad time, giving TV remote control for a whole evening or even a park date with Mum or Dad. Get creative – kids aren’t always motivated by things!

Please contact us for more tips and advice about kids occupational therapy and craft activities.