Fine Motor

Small Motor Skills Age Norms

Uses fingers to:

  • 2.6 - unwrap food: candy wrappers, banana
  • 2.6 - point with index finger
  • 2.9 - stack plastic rings in correct order by size
  • 3.0 - turn pages of picture storybook, one by one
  • 3.0 - screw and unscrew a 3" lid, wind up toys, turn knobs

Copies large, simple shapes:

  • 2.6 - vertical line
  • 3.0 - horizontal line
  • 3.9 - cross (+); circle
  • 4.6 - square with distinct corners
  • 5.0 - X
  • 5.0 - rectangle, triangle
  • 5.3 - diamond

Colors:

  • 2.6 - uses large crayons to scribble
  • 2.9 - holds crayon with thumb and fingers (not fist)
  • 4.6 - within lines

Stacks blocks into tower:

  • 3.9 - 6-8 blocks
  • 3.0 - 9-10 blocks
  • 4.0 - 11 blocks or more

Builds structures given a model:

  • 2.9 - 3 block train, 3 block bridge
  • 3.0 - pen for animals
  • 4.6 - 5 block bridge
  • 6.0 - 6 block pyramid, house, and complex structures

Cuts paper with scissors:

  • 3.0 - makes small cuts in paper
  • 3.6 - cuts across small paper, cutting in two pieces
  • 4.0 - follows thick straight line
  • 4.6 - follows thick curved line
  • 6.0 - picture (people, animals) from magazines

Puts puzzles together without help:

  • 3.0 - 3-4 pieces
  • 3.9 - 5-7 pieces
  • 4.6 - 8-11 pieces

Manipulates play dough:

  • 3.0 - into ball or flat, round pancakes
  • 4.0 - rolls into rope

Strings:

  • 3.0 - large 1-inch beads or 1-inch dry pasta using shoelace

Traces over letters:

  • 3.0 - with crayons
  • 4.6 - with pencil: simple capital letters H, T, L, V

Folds paper after watching model:

  • 3.6 - in half, horizontally
  • 4.0 - in half, diagonally

Touches:

  • 3.6 - each finger of one hand to thumb of same hand

Draws:

  • 4.0 - and names own pictures (not recognizable)
  • 4.6 - and names own pictures (recognizable)
  • 4.9 - connects two objects with line on same page

Pastes:

  • 4.6 - 2 pieces of paper together

Prints:

  • 4.6 - copies first name given a model
  • 5.9 - first and last name or 2 words, but not very clearly
  • 6.0 - all 26 letters of the alphabet with or without model

Ties:

  • 5.6 - small knots in shoelaces