Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Jan Stube


Child Development; Motor Skills; Occupational Therapy -- methods; Child, Preschool


Based on the findings of the literature review, fine motor skills are an important skill to develop during the preschool years. Marr, Cermak, Cohan and Henderson (2003) described the importance of fine motor skills to engage in valued occupations in addition to educational activities. A child's occupations that demand fine motor skills may be dressing, tying shoes, play, among other daily tasks. If a child has difficulty with fine motor skills it could have a negative outcome on their daily lives and how they perform in school. Children who have difficulty coordinating the small muscle groups in their hands have difficulty dressing, feeding themselves, and manipulating pencils, crayons and scissors. This difficulty may prevent them from meeting the demands of school (Losse et al., 1991).

The acquisition of fine motor skills is an important aspect of children's developmental growth as fine motor skills enable children to participate in valued occupations in the areas of activities of daily living, education, play and social participation. National education goals describe fine motor skills as one of the dimensions needed by kindergarten children for learning readiness (National Education Goals Panel, 1993).

With opportunities imbedded in their day, preschool children increase the refinement of fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are an important component of handwriting and manipulating classroom objects. Handwriting is both a means of communication and necessary life skill. Handwriting is still the most immediate form of graphic communication (Sasson, 1990).

Research has shown that it is' important to develop good writing habits early. Early childhood educators and pediatric occupational therapists should focus on developing fine motor skills in preschool children to enhance readiness for learning (Case-Smith, 2000; Kagan, Moore, & Bredekamp, 1995). Difficulty in fine motor skills can interfere with academic achievement. No other school task requires as much synchronization as handwriting (Levine, Oberklaid, & Meltzer, 1981). Feder and Majnemer (2007) found the percentage of children with handwriting difficulties ranged from 10-30%.

The purpose of this scholarly project is to educate parents, teacher and occupational therapist of the importance of developing good fine motor skills in preschool age children. This will ensure that a child will have the opportunity to reach their maximal potential in the area of handwriting and completing classroom work.

A resource was developed that could be used by parents, educators and daycare providers to promote fine motor skill development in preschool age children. This project is a resource manual that contains fine motor activities that can be incorporated throughout the day to provide children the opportunities to work on fine motor skills.

The methods used in this project included an extensive review of literature including scholarly articles, books, and educational resources available for teachers and parents. The benefit of this project includes increased awareness about the importance of fine motor skills development in preschool age children and the developmental milestones associated with the age, and activities to incorporate into the daily life to benefit fine motor skill development