Fine Motor Skills for Preschoolers 30 – 36 Months

CME WebsitesChild Development, Toddlers 12 - 36 Months

Most Three Year Olds Can:

  • String four large beads
  • Turn single pages
  • Snip with scissors
  • Hold crayons with thumb and finger (not fist)
  • Use one hand consistently in most activities
  • Imitate circular, vertical, and horizontal strokes
  • Paint with some wrist action.  Make dots, lines, and circular strokes
  • Roll, pound, squeeze, and pull clay
  • Build tower of up to 9 cubes
  • String 1/2 inch beads
  • Cut along a line
  • Use a fork
  • Manage large buttons
  • Dress self with supervision

Parenting Tips for Fine Motor Skills:

You can help with toddler developmental milestones.  Suggested play to help a toddler 30 to 36 months of age develop fine motor skills:

  • Bubbles are fun. First draw bubbles of all sizes on a piece of paper ‘ big ones, little ones, green ones, and purple ones. Then blow some real bubbles.
  • Become a mechanic. Collect a group of large bolts with matching nuts. Show your child how to find the one that matches and then twist them together. (Supervise this activity to make sure your child doesn’t put anything in its mouth.)
  • Turn tongs into toys. How many cotton balls can your child move from one container to another with a pair of kitchen tongs? This requires concentration. After the cotton balls, switch to something heavier like walnuts or small stones.
  • Make a delicious puzzle. Next time you make your child a sandwich, cut it into three odd shapes and have him/her put the puzzle together before he/she eats the ‘pieces’.
  • M is for Morgan. Show your child how to write the first letter of his or her name. Even if it doesn’t look close to the letter, clap and tell him or her you are proud of the accomplishment.