Parents’ Guide to Fine Versus Gross Motor Skills

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Parents’ Guide to Fine Versus Gross Motor Skills is part of our Parents’ Guide series. View the entire series for quick videos, packed full of development info and tips.


Fine Motor
– small muscles related to intricate tasks found in fingers, lips, tongue, etc. Fine motor tasks include feeding yourself and turning pages.

Activities for fine motor skills:

  • Finger painting
  • Stacking cups or blocks
  • Coloring with crayons
  • Rolling balls with play dough

Gross Motor – Large muscles related to movements found in arms, legs, torso, etc. Gross motor tasks include walking, sitting, and throwing.

Activities for gross motor skills:

  • Doing Tummy Time
  • Playing ‘Simon Says’
  • Playing on the playground
  • Throwing a ball at a target

Good motor control helps with cognitive development. The development of both fine and gross motor skills allow a child to explore the world.