Motor skills are movements and actions of the muscles. They are categorized in two groups: gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills involve movement of the arms, legs, feet, or entire body. This includes actions such as running, crawling, walking, swimming, and other activities that involve larger muscles. Fine motor skills are the small movements that occur in the hands, wrists, fingers, feet, toes, lips and tongue. They are the smaller actions that occur such as picking up objects between the thumb and finger, using a pencil to write carefully, holding a fork and using it to eat, and other small muscle tasks that occur on a daily basis.
These two motor skills develop together and strongly involve coordination. Through each developmental stage of a child’s life, toddlerhood, preschool, and school age, motor skills will gradually develop and between age 6 and 12 children typically will have mastered basic fine motor skills. They will keep developing with age and with practice and the increased use of muscles while playing sports, playing an instrument, using the computer, and writing.