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Developing fine and gross motor skills for handwriting (Age 3–4)

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What are motor skills?

Motor skills are movements that involve using our muscles to perform specific acts. Gross motor skills are the ability to use larger movements involving arms, legs, feet, or the entire body, in activities such as running, jumping and swimming. Fine motor skills are the ability to make smaller movements using muscles in, for example, our wrists, fingers and hands to carry out controlled actions such as writing or cutting with scissors.

What can I do to support my child at home?

There are lots of fun things you probably already do with your child which will help them to develop their motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Here are our favourite ideas of things to try at home.

1. Painting and drawing

Give your child lots of opportunities to draw and paint. Let them experiment with lots of different materials – paint brushes with a range of widths, pencils, crayons, chalks and finger paint. You could try playing music when they paint and draw as this can help to create a relaxing environment.

2. Practise pouring

If you can bear the mess, letting your child pour liquids from one container to another or, alternatively, spooning flour into jars and bottles is an excellent way to develop hand-eye co-ordination and control.

3. Throw and catch

As well as throwing, catching and kicking balls of different sizes, you can help develop your child’s motor skills and hand-eye coordination by challenging your child to throw the balls into a range of buckets and containers.

You may be interested in:

10 little fingers

A warm-up video to get children ready to write.


A video to help children practise both fine and gross motor skills.

Handwriting activity books

Starting to Write Age 3–4

This activity book will help your child to progress while having fun so they will quickly learn to develop pencil control and the correct letter formation.
Buy on Amazon >


Handwriting: Age 4–5 >


Reading & English

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