AGES 0-6 YEARS






    0-3 months

    Hands often closed, will grasp involuntarily if object is placed in hand

    2-4 months

    Reaches for/swipes at objects inaccurately

    3-3½ months

    Clasps hands together often

    3½ -4 months

    Begins purposeful, visually directed reaching

    3-7 months

    Holds small objects in hand

    4-8 months

    Transfers objects from hand to hand; picks up med. sized object easily

    4-10 months

    Develops accurate forward and side reach

    5-9 months

    Picks up small objects using a “raking” or scooping motion

    7-9 months

    Intentionally is able to drop and release objects

    7-12 objects

    Picks up objects using thumb and finger/fingers

    10 months

    Pokes at or points with finger

    12-18 months

    Holds crayon with whole hand, thumb pointed up

    2 years

    Holds crayon with thumb and all fingers, forearm turned so thumb is pointed down; uses spoon well in upright position; copies vertical line

    2½ -3 years

    Strings large beads; snips paper with scissors; copies horizontal line; rolls clay/playdoh into “snake”; imitates 4 cube “train” design

    3 – 3½ years

    Completes simple inset puzzles; towers 9 small blocks; dresses/undresses self except for fasteners, but still confuses front/back and right/left

    3½ - 4 years 

    Places small pegs into holes; strings small beads; holds a pencil in a “tripod grasp” (3 fingers), but moves whole arm when coloring, drawing, writing

    4 – 4½ years

    Uses scissors to cut on both straight and curved lines; fastens buttons, zippers, and snaps; draws a cross (intersecting vertical & horizontal line)

    4½ - 5 years

    Folds paper in half making sure the edges meet; puts key in lock and opens it; connects the dots to make a simple shape; copies square

    5 years

    Usually ties shoelaces; cuts shapes/simple pictures using scissors; uses dull knife to spread out food; copies triangle; uses tripod grasp with only finger movement when coloring, writing, and drawing; copies letters

    5½ -6 years

    Demonstrates accurate bilateral hand coordination to cut out complex shapes within a line’s width; writes some letters from memory  


           Therefore, by 6 years old, a child's fine motor skills have developed sufficiently enough to complete writing, dressing, and feeding tasks properly and efficiently. A child will now have adequate dexterity, bilateral coordination, and eye-hand coordination to complete writing and cutting tasks.   Although these skills will continue to develop and be refined, the foundation is developed and laid down within the first six years. This is precisely WHY a child will need toys, games, and activities to practice and enhance these skills during early childhood.