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SEND Support Service (SSS): A Guide to Fine Motor Skills (4 to 5 Years) - WNC

SEND Support Service (SSS): A Guide to Fine Motor Skills (4 to 5 Years) - WNC logo


Give the child time to think and respond. Remember to reward with praise. All activities are to be carried out with adult supervision only.

Encouraging Fine Motor Skills at 4 to 5 Years

In a child's preschool year, they can hold a pencil in a dynamic tripod grip with good control. They show good control in writing and drawing with pencils and paint brushes. They can copy many letters with varying degrees of accuracy. They can also write a few letters spontaneously. They can stay within simple outlines while colouring. Children will start drawing their creations and cutting around the outline more precisely.   Children show increased accuracy in catching, throwing, and kicking a ball. They can handle more tools and construction objects safely and with good control. They can build more elaborate models when shown.

Suggested objects to help develop fine motor skills at 4 to 5 years:

  • Construction toys
  • Early roleplay (dressing and undressing dolls, food play with plastic cutlery and a variety of cutters, washing dolls' clothes and pegging them out to dry, doctors and builders' tools, or dressing up)
  • Hama Beads and Aquabeads
  • Interlocking puzzles and jigsaw puzzles
  • iPad (use a variety of apps that involve tracing, copying, and pressing)
  • Mark Making (chalk, finger paint, a whiteboard, sand, glitter, flour, shaving foam, crayons, a paintbrush with water, an aqua mat and pen, an Etch-a-Sketch, felt pens, and paint dabbers)
  • Play-Doh / plasticine (activity centre, baking utensils)
  • Scissors (cuts curved and straight lines on paper, wool, or straws) / Plastic scissors for Play-Doh
  • Small world play (Playmobil sets, farms, garages, or dolls' houses)
  • Threading more intricate beads for a necklace (on a thin lace)
  • Tree rubbing
  • Tweezers (picking up different-sized objects, e.g. pasta, lentils, or split peas)
  • Water play (use bottles, jars with lids, syringes, funnels, squeeze and twist flannels/sponges)


  • Brackley Area
  • Daventry Area
  • Northampton Area
  • Towcester Area
  • West Northamptonshire
  • Northamptonshire
Additional languages
Translation and/or Interpreting Available on Request
Age range
Suitable for ages from 4 years to 5 years
Referral route
No Referral Needed
For people with
Suitable for Everyone
Eligibility criteria
Age Range - Early Years
Provider category
Universal Services - Suitable for Everyone


c/o The SEND Support Service (SSS), West Northamptonshire Council, One Angel Square, Angel Street
United Kingdom


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Last updated 31 May 2024