Fine motor skills are the skills needed to perform activities that involve using the hands and fingers. By the time children reach ages 6 and 7, most of their fine motor skills have developed. Children of this age begin to grasp some applications of their fine motor skills, such as advanced hand-eye coordination, writing techniques and dribbling a basketball.
The Dynamic Tripod
In the dynamic tripod, the thumb, index and middle fingers act as one to form a tripod that holds a pen or pencil. Children usually grasp this concept by age 7, and it allows them to draw and write with more coordination. With the fingers in the dynamic tripod position, the writing utensil is supported and children can make coordinated finger movements. When the position is assumed but the child cannot make the coordinated finger movements needed for writing, it's called the simple tripod.
Dribbling a Basketball
Healthy children should be able to bounce a basketball several times consecutively by age 7. Bouncing a basketball consecutively requires advanced coordination between hand and eye. The fingertips and pad of the hand work together to feel the texture of the ball and push it back toward the ground. The eyes must be coordinated with the hand to meet the ball when it is bouncing back up. To see a child bouncing a ball over and over is a positive sign for his physical development.
Complex Jigsaw Puzzles
Six- and 7-year-olds should have the motor skill ability to complete advanced jigsaw puzzles. These advanced puzzles have small pieces that children fit together with their fingers. Once the children grasp the concept of fitting together the flat pieces, they should have the fine motor skills needed to complete them. Jigsaw puzzles help motor skill development because the child can try completing different puzzles.
At age 6, children should be able to use scissors to cut along a line. If given a piece of paper, a pencil and scissors, a 6-year-old should be able to draw a circle on the paper and cut it out. Six- and 7-year-olds should be able to trace any line with scissors while cutting.
- Therapy Center for Children: Fine Motor Development and Handwriting
- Finger Gym: Fine Motor Development and Early School Performance
- Great Schools: Developmental Milestones: Your 7 Year-Old Child
- EHLT.Flinders.edu: Fine Motor Skills
- Solve Your Problem: Puzzles: What to Look for in Puzzles for Children of Any Age
- Education.com: Typical Gross Motor Development Milestones