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Occupational Therapy

Fine & Gross Motor Skills.

Monkey Mouths Fine & Gross Motor Skills

Fine motor skills

Fine motor skills involve the use of small muscles to perform precise and coordinated movements. The difference between gross motor and fine motor skills is the muscles used to complete the task or activity. Fine motor skills are used for grasping and releasing objects, building blocks, managing fasteners, and holding utensils. Fine motor skills are developed along with gross motor skills. A child’s body must be stable before they are able to participate in fine motor tasks that involve use of their fingers, wrists, and small muscles of their face (jaw, tongue, and lips). 

Fine motor skills are imperative to participate in daily activities in all occupations of life.

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Fine motor skills are needed to hold a writing utensil, cut with scissors, and color/ write.

Self-care tasks
Fine motor skills are needed to manage fasteners (buttons, Velcro, zippers, and tie shoes), managing clothes, holding a toothbrush, opening packages, using utensils, and drinking from cups.

Play Activities
Building with Legos/ blocks, completing puzzles, pretend play, and manipulating small objects.

An occupational therapist at Monkey Mouths will evaluate and treat fine motor delays that are impacting your child’s participation in any of the above areas. Children should have the coordination, strength, and speed to complete fine motor tasks. If you notice a problem with your child’s fine motor or gross motor skills, our occupational therapists at Monkey Mouths will be ready to assist you with an evaluation. 

Gross Motor Skills

A child’s motor skills are broken into two categories, gross motor, and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills involve movement of the large muscle groups such as arms, legs, and trunk to complete developmental movement patterns such as rolling, crawling, walking, running, and jumping. Movement activities that incorporate use of both hands and eyes such as catching and throwing a ball are also considered gross motor skills. 

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Monkey Mouths Fine & Gross Motor Skills

Occupational therapists assess and treat delays in gross motor skills in children to help a child become independent in meaningful activities such as playing on a playground, participating in learning activities, and participating in dressing, and grooming tasks. Gross motor skills are needed for a child to sit upright in a chair, skip, ride a bike, and climb stairs, as well as participate in overall functional mobility (yes walking is a gross motor skill).

Foundational Skills

There are many foundational skills needed to for the proper progression of gross motor skills such as:

Occupational therapists at Monkey Mouths address basic gross motor skills starting at birth for any children experiencing a delay. Below are stages for gross motor development from birth to 5 years old. Each developmental milestone builds for the next skill. If a milestone has been missed or skipped, many times, other compensational movement patterns are observed. This leads to difficulty in other areas as the child continues to grow. 

Gross Motor Milestones.

Birth- 6 months

  • Turn their head and look to both sides
  • Lift head when held over shoulder
  • Hold head in supported sitting
  • Lift head while on their tummy
  • Roll in both directions from stomach to back and back to stomach
  • Sit unsupported
  • Bear weight through their legs

7 months to 12 months

  • Crawling with tummy on the floor
  • Creeping on hands and knees
  • Pulling to stand on furniture
  • Walking with support
  • Standing alone

1 year

  • Pushing a ball to imitate an adults’ play
  • Walking with a wide base, may be unsteady
  • Standing alone
  • Crawling down the stairs
  • Walking upstairs with support 

2 years

  • Walks up and down stairs alone
  • Kicks a ball forward
  • Running
  • Jumping off two feet
  • Climbing on furniture without assistance

3 years

  • Stand on one foot for a few seconds
  • Riding a tricycle
  • Catches a large ball

4 years

  • Hops on one foot
  • Begins skipping
  • Can run, jump, and climb proficiently
  • Standing on one foot for 5 seconds
  • Catches ball consistently

5 years

  • Climbs on various structures independently
  • Skipping
  • Rides a bike with or without training wheels
  • Jump rope