The development of fine motor skills means that the child uses certain small muscles of the fingers and hands to make precise movements in order to reach, grasp and manipulate small objects.
Remember that children do not all grow at the same speed in all areas. The information on this website is designed to be general. If your child’s development is worrying you, it is best to consult your doctor.
At this age :
- He uses his index finger to point, push, touch and explore;
- He transfers a small object from one hand to another;
- He uses his hand as a forceps (using the tip of the index finger and thumb) to pick up smaller objects, first by pressing his forearm on the table, then without ‘support;
- He holds a spoon, but has difficulty in bringing it to his mouth;
- He empties a large container, first by spilling the contents, then removing the object from the container with his hand. He plays to put in and out;
- He removes big rings from a stem;
- He intentionally releases an object to hand it over to the person who requests it;
- He drops an object on a table;
- He imitates the person who claps hands.
Over the next few months, he will begin to:
- Stack large objects;
- Place large rings around a stem, in a variable order;
- Use both hands and perhaps show a preference for one of them;
- Carry spoon and cup to mouth, spilling contents.
How to help it progress?
Your baby has a unique personality that will grow at his own pace. But you can help foster this development by putting into practice the Comfort, Play and Teach parenting approach. This approach has been designed to integrate easily into your daily routine. Adapted to the current age of your baby, the table below gives you examples of small gestures beneficial to the development of fine motor skills.
When you place food in front of your baby and show him how to take it, your baby uses his fingers more confidently to take food.
When you place your baby on the floor in a safe corner and give him soft objects to stack, showing him to take one object and put it on another, your baby learns to stack things; he grasps and releases the objects with more confidence.
When you place your baby on the floor in a safe corner of the kitchen and surround it with containers and bowls of various sizes, your baby likes to put the containers into each other and see how they fit together.
When you sing with your baby and play games that encourage him to move his arms and fingers, your baby learns to move his arms and fingers with more control; he feels loved and reassured when he plays with you.
When you give your baby toys that he can activate to produce an effect, such as sound or movement, your baby learns that he can control certain aspects of his environment.