The Power of Parenting

Monday, 15 February 2021

Fine Motor Development: 31 to 36 Months

Fine Motor Development means mastering precise and accurate small muscle movements of the fingers and hands in order to reach, grasp and manipulate small objects.

Typical Skills
  • Holds pencil in writing position
  • Imitates drawing a cross, circles, dots, small lines, swirls
  • Cuts paper with scissors, but may not be able to cut along straight lines
  • Turns pages of book one at a time
  • Turns rotating handles, doorknobs
Emerging Skills
  • Experiments with pencils, crayons and markers, using an adult-like grasp
  • Draws squiggles and says that’s her name
  • Participates in songs and finger plays
  • Plays with different manipulative toys, e.g., connecting straws and snap blocks
  • Puts on and takes off clothes

If you do this:
Your Toddler will:


  • Do simple finger plays like “This Little Piggy” with your child
  • Compliment your child’s drawing skills, and comment on how “grown up” he is
  • Read your child’s favourite book to him and put him in charge of turning the pages
  • Enjoy having his fingers played with as he pretends they are “piggies”
  • Feel proud of his abilities and creations and want to make more and show them off
  • Learn to love looking at books because of the time spent reading with you
If you do this:
Your Toddler will:


  • Provide different things to write and draw with (e.g., pencils, markers, crayons, chalk)
  • Supply your child with board books to read to her dolls and teddy bears
  • Help your child cut out small pieces of paper to use as tickets for a puppet show
  • Be encouraged to use different things to colour with and express herself
  • Use page turning skills as she develops her early literacy skills
  • Learn that cutting paper helps with other projects she is doing
If you do this:
Your Toddler will:


  • Provide different kinds of dress up clothes with snaps, buttons, zippers
  • Make cards, such as birthday or holiday, with your child, and together, print special messages
  • Role model reading and writing in front of your child
  • Practice self-help skills at his own pace through creative play
  • Use skills like cutting, folding and drawing to express his ideas and feelings
  • See reading and writing as useful and want to do them too