5 Fine Motor Skills Necessary for Kindergarten Readiness

Do you have or know a child that is getting ready to start kindergarten? If so, are you wondering if they possess the fine motor skills necessary for kindergarten success?

Below is a list of fine motor and visual motor skills that your child should master upon entering kindergarten so that they are prepared for success! 

1. Pencil Grip

By kindergarten, a child should be able to use a functional grasp (tripod or quadrupod grasp) on writing utensils with little to no physical or verbal prompting. 

2. Pre-writing Strokes and Shapes

Upon entering kindergarten a child should be able to accurately copy a circle, a cross, diagonal lines, a square and triangle. Mastering these is the foundation for being able to write uppercase and lowercase letters. 

3. Printing Their First Name

Children should be able to recognize and write their first name. 

4. Scissors

Children should be able to safely use scissors by correctly placing scissors on their hands (in the thumb up position) and using their nondominant hand to hold and turn their paper. By kindergarten children should be able to cut out simple shapes (circle, square, triangle) and deviate no more than ¼ inch from the lines. 

5. Building with Blocks and Legos

Children should have the appropriate strength and coordination to be able to use both hands together to build with blocks and/or legos. 

Other important skills that children should have or be close to mastering are: 

  • Completing simple 12 piece puzzles. 
  • Manipulating buttons, zippers, snaps, and laces. 
  • Drawing a person with at least 10 parts (head, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, body, arms, fingers, legs, feet).
  • Coloring within small shapes and figures without deviating too much from the lines (demonstrates good pencil/crayon control).

For more information on other skills necessary for kindergarten readiness you can visit the Ohio Department of Education webpage here!

-Marla Griswold, OTR/L