Developing fine motor skills

Picking up a pencil, clicking on the link to this article and eating with chopsticks are all movements which use fine motor skills and your baby is developing these right from birth. You can help your baby to develop their fine motor skills by choosing the right books. We marry up each stage of fine motor skill development with the right books in the first of our ‘senses and skills’ series.

3 months

Around 3 months, your baby will begin to reach for objects. As reaching is often unco-ordinated, cloth books are soft and safe enough for small hands and can be grasped by your baby. These can either be held up in front of baby or placed on the floor during tummy time.

5 months

Your little one will probably start trying to pick objects up at this age – small buggy books can provide your little one with someone to grab whilst out and about.

6 months

At around 6 months, your baby will begin to hold objects and bang objects. Choose durable board books that your little one can try out their newfound movement with, the pages of these are also easy for small hands to turn.

9 months

Over the past few months, your baby’s motor skills have developed and become more co-ordinated. Use lift-the-flap books with large, sturdy flaps to further enhance these skills.

See Naomi opening and closing flaps with mum Tawny.

Naomi 9m2 compressed.mp4

12 months

At around a year, your baby will be able to pick things up with their finger and thumb, practicing very fine motor skills. Touch and feel board books with things to feel and trace will help your baby your baby’s precision.

Many books have holes in them, let your baby try putting a finger through these, they might find it as amusing as Anaiya does!

Anaiya skillssenses.mp4

18 months

As your little one becomes stronger and shows more co-ordination, more interactive books with tabs, wheels and push-pull elements can help your little one to master trickier movements.


24 months

Those little hands are now able to do a lot more and it’s a great time to master turning those fiddly paper pages. Why not try these storybooks?

30 months

Your toddler is now able to practice a full range of movements that use those fine motor skills. Magnet books and jigsaw books are great for practicing moving small objects.


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