Grab, Pinch, Push: Helping Your Baby Grow Fine Motor Skills 

Your baby can begin to strengthen their small muscles starting now! Find out how from Mary, one of our early literacy librarians.

Well-developed fine motor (small muscle) skills are an important part of learning to write. Why? Because you can't write words if you can't hold a pen, pencil or crayon. So how do we help our youngest children grow their skills? Even when they're not yet ready to write, or even scribble, there are many simple things that can be done to strengthen baby's fingers

  • Place your finger in your newborn's palm, and they will automatically wrap their fingers around it.  
  • During "tummy time," place a favorite toy just out of reach, so that your baby can try to grab it and pull it toward them.  
  • Allow your older baby to "paint" with baby food, applesauce or pudding on their high chair tray.  

Sing a song together and help your baby clap to the beat.  

Want more ideas? has ways to encourage fine motor skills, opens a new window through each stage of your baby's development.

Learn more about baby fine motor developmental milestones (and possible red flags) from Children's Therapy and Family Resource Centre, opens a new window, a nonprofit agency.