School Aged Developmental Milestones
Fine Motor Skills (printing/handwriting, drawing, cutting)
“Fine motor” refers to the movements we make with the small muscles of the hands. Children start to use their hands right at birth to explore their own bodies and the world around them. Their fine motor skills develop as their whole body starts to move and become more stable. They also learn to do more things with their hands as their cognitive and social/emotional skills improve.
Below are some of the typical developmental milestones for fine motor skills for a school aged child up to 7 years old. Below the milestones, are "red flags" that might indicated a problem.
If you have concerns about your child at any age, please feel free to contact us to speak to a professional.
Between the ages of 5-7 years, your child will:
- Use one hand consistently for fine motor tasks
- Learn to print letters and numbers, and then words
- By 7 years, keep printing neatly within the lines
- Cut out art projects, staying on the lines
- Colour inside the lines well
- Draw pictures that are recognizable
- Start opening packages by herself
- Get dressed by himself, including most fasteners (shoe laces may still be hard)
- Use a fork and knife together to cut soft foods
Red Flags for Fine Motor Development (school-aged)
If you have some of the following concerns about your child once she is in school, you may want to ask for help from your child’s teacher. Your teacher may recommend that you seek further help from your doctor or another health professional such as an occupational therapist. For more information about the typical development of printing and handwriting skills, please click here.
- He cannot seem to decide which hand to use for fine motor activities
- Her movements are shaky or stiff
- His arms and hands seem very weak
- She is not able to draw the basic shapes such as circle, cross (+), square, triangle
- He is not able to cut along straight and curved lines with scissors
- She is having a lot of difficulty learning to print letters or numbers