Growth & Development

Fine Motor Development

Normal Development:

  • Uses thumb and pointer finger to explore objects, turn knobs, dials, etc. (10–20 months)
  • Builds a tower of three blocks (13–21 months)
  • Draws simple, straight lines (14–24 months)
  • Scribble with a crayon (16–20 months)
  • Turns over containers to pour out the insides (16–24 months)
  • May begin to show “righty” or “lefty” preference, but may not decide for a several more years (16–33 months)

What You Can Do:

  • Play with cheerios
  • Play with blocks
  • Give your child paper and crayons (jumbo size crayons are great, but make sure your baby doesn’t eat them!)
  • Play with puzzles
  • Let your child practice using a spoon
  • Water play in the bath
  • When reading, let your child turn the pages of the book

Our Advice:

  • It’s important to let your child practice using their fine motor skills, even though their practice can get messy (like when using a spoon). This is all a part of the process. Try to embrace the mess! 
  • Let your child use a small cup to learn how to drink on their own.
  • Be mindful of choking hazards.  If the item your child is playing with is small enough to fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is too small for them to play with!

Try not to compare yourself to other parents, or your baby to other babies. Every family is different!

Content created in partnership with
Seedlings Group