Fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the body that enable such functions as writing, grasping small objects, and fastening clothing. They involve strength, fine motor control, and dexterity. These skills are important foundations for school activities as well as in life in general. Weaknesses in fine motor skills can affect a child’s ability to eat, write legibly, use a computer, turn pages in a book, and perform personal care tasks such as dressing and grooming.
Gross motor skills involve the large muscles of the body that enable such functions as walking, kicking, sitting upright, lifting, and throwing a ball. A person’s gross motor skills depend on both muscle tone and strength. Gross Motor skills are important for major body movement such as maintaining balance, coordination, jumping, and reaching. Students with poor gross motor development may experience difficulties with fine motor skills as well.
The good news is, there are many ways you can help your child refine his or her fine motor skills and gross motor skills at home, and you’ll find that you can have a lot of fun together at the same time!
Check out this short video for a few ideas to get you started:
Kendra VanWasshenova, DPT, is a physical therapist at U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital’s Milestones program. Milestones offers physical and occupational therapy by pediatric PT and OT specialists trained specifically to care for a children and young adults who have acute medical problems, rehabilitation needs and congenital or acquired conditions.
University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked one of the best hospitals in the country. It was nationally ranked in all ten pediatric specialties in U.S. News Media Group’s “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” and among the 10 best children’s hospitals in the nation by Parents Magazine. In December 2011, the hospital opened our new 12-story, state-of-the-art facility offering cutting-edge specialty services for newborns, children and women.