May 06, 2013

{Strengthening Fine Motor Skills}

First: Still no homestudy :(  I know our Social Worker is busy and she’s working as hard as she can (trust me…I know she is…she’s not just putting us off), but it’s hard to know we’ve been done with everything since April 12 and we still don’t have that last crucial piece of paper.  I really, really hope to have it by the end of the week. That’s the name of the game in adoption. Hurry & wait…hurry & wait :)



Let’s talk fine motor skills. Fine motor skills generally refer to the small movements of the hands, wrists, fingers, feet, toes, lips, and tongue.

Kalia has a fine motor delay and we're constantly working on strengthening those skills. It’s so hard for her to do many of these things and she fights us on a daily basis because it IS hard for her. And it’s hard for us as her parents to watch her struggle with things that come so easily to others. But we must push on…


We do a lot of “therapy” that she thinks is “play”. Some of these things she does willingly & actually enjoys, but many we struggle with, as they’re just so hard & tiring for her. All of these things we do throughout the day, but in very short spurts (10-15 minutes or less at a time).

  • Arts & Crafts…pretty much anything. Painting (especially on an easel or even just hanging craft paper on the wall  or fridge), writing on a chalkboard (again, having to hold her hand up uses more muscles), cutting, tearing paper, gluing small items onto paper (having to pick up small buttons, sequins, beads, etc. uses those small muscles)

IMG_0450_velvet peach IMG_0451_velvet peach


  • Coloring (practice staying in the lines. Kalia can color for awhile, but has issues with staying in the lines. It requires more skill to stop when you hit a line). For added benefit, we will often have her lay on her stomach while coloring. Again…the more muscles she’s engaging the better she’s strengthening.
  • Playdough…excellent workout for those fingers/hand. Hide things in the dough, roll it out, pat it flat, etc.
  • Pouring. Kalia loves to pour water/sand from one container to another. This is excellent for controlling & isolating those small muscles.
  • Any kind of writing. This one is REALLY, REALLY HARD for Kalia. It requires not only controlling the color or marker, but motor planning & figuring out how to make the stroke. This is one we will be working really hard on over the summer.


  • Puzzles (luckily this is one thing she really does like!)

Check out this site for a more comprehensive list. One thing I’ve never tried, but plan to soon, is making candy/cereal necklaces. Kalia LOVES food so this will be a good way to combine therapy with snack. She can lace the cereal onto a licorice rope, then when it’s done…gobble it down :) Genius!


Other great ideas we will be using this summer include:

  • Glueing beans onto traced shapes or letters
  • Eye dropper art (using medicine dropper to drop colored water onto coffee filters or paper towels)
  • Toothpick punch (draw large picture with thick black line. Use toothpick to poke holes all around the edge. Hold picture up to light & see the light shine through)

Kalia also has gross motor delays and I will do a separate post on how we work on that.

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