Development of Fine Motor Skills Through Art

Each time you pick up your child from Philly Art Center, you’ve probably observed us getting “down and dirty” and having a lot of fun. It might appear like that’s all we’re doing (which is a good thing), however, everything that we plan for your child(ren) has a much greater purpose.

Every art lesson is created keeping the development of the whole child in mind … social, cognitive, emotional, and physical. Although the art project is itself is important, the skills developed during the process of creating art will enable your child to meet with future success in school and life.

One of the most important skills that are developed through art is fine motor development. During art lessons, your child’s small muscles in the fingers, hands, and wrists are exercised and strengthened, helping to make learning to write easier.

You may not realize it, but the control over finger movements used for clay modeling and finger painting is the same control the child needs to be able to grasp a pencil and write. Without well-developed fine motor skills, a child may have difficulty learning to write or performing other critical tasks required in school, such as turning pages of books, cutting, drawing, and squeezing glue from a bottle.

At Philly Art Center, students gain dexterity, hand-eye coordination, strength and flexibility as they use their hands and fingers to work with all kinds of objects and materials.

Tearing and scrunching paper, rolling, squeezing, and twisting model magic, opening and closing glue jars, threading pipe cleaners into holes, pinching clay into pots, gaining dexterity by using different size paint brushes, threading beads, building three dimensional creations…these all are ways we encourage your children to exercise their fingers, hands and wrists.

10 Suggestions for Fine Motor Development Activities at Home:

  1. Homemade playdough or real cookie dough for twisting, rolling, and squeezing
  2. Serve finger foods like raisins that young children have to pick up carefully
  3. String beads or noodles with thread or wires to make necklaces
  4. Allow children to open and close containers with lids
  5. Practice with scissors
  6. Play with puppets
  7. Build with small blocks
  8. Pour liquid into cups
  9. Wipe the table with a sponge and squeeze it out when done
  10. Teach finger play type songs like “Where is Thumbkin” (or sign up for our baby and toddler music classes with Teacher Frank!)


Philly Art Center has been cultivating creative genius in kids and adults since 2004. We inspire every student to create, play, laugh and learn! Learn More.