S.T.E.A.M. Day

Fine motor developmental milestones (0 – 4 years old)

Just as with developmental milestones, fine motor skill milestones should also be taken with a grain of salt. Each child develops fine motor skills at their own pace through everyday experiences, so do not be worried if your child is not hitting all the milestones right at the specified age. 


Most important fine motor skills

  • Strong palmar arches: the palmar arches are responsible for curling the palm inwards. Children need strong palmar arches to coordinate hand movements, grip, and write. 
  • Wrist stability: stable wrists control is essential during intricate hand movements like writing 
  • Precision grasping: having good control over the thumb, index, and middle finger to grasp objects
  • Overall hand muscle development: a good indicator of overall development is your child’s ability to touch the tip of their thumbs with their index and middle finger
  • Simultaneous coordination: being able to use both hands at once
  • Scissor skills: important for hand-eye coordination and hand strength 


Main developmental milestones

0 – 3 months

  • Have random uncontrolled arm movements 
  • Will bring their hands to their mouth


3 – 6 months

  • Move objects from one hand to another 
  • Hold their hands together
  • Begin to hold objects with their hands


6 – 9 months

  • Explores objects using their mouth 
  • Begin to grasp objects 
  • Use a raking grip to move objects 
  • Hold their hands together


9 – 12 months 

  • Use a pincer grip to grasp objects
  • Feed themselves small food items
  • Grab small objects with a fisted grip 
  • Show preference for left or right hand 


1 – 2 years

  • Bang two objects together
  • Use a spoon to scoop food
  • Can turn one page at a time
  • Hold crayon with pincer grip 


2 – 3 years 

  • Can turn doorknobs
  • Can wash hands independently 
  • Zip and unzips clothing
  • Complete 3 piece puzzles
  • Can unbutton large buttons


3 – 4 years 

  • Use scissors to cut paper
  • Can sort objects
  • Can copy simple shapes on paper