Childhood development of fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscle movements which occur e.g., in the fingers, usually in coordination with the eyes. In application to motor skills of hands (and fingers) the term dexterity is commonly used.
According to a study done in the UK it was observed that females between the age of 4 and 7 years old show finer motor skills compared to males of the same age. This was discovered by putting 100+ females and 100+ males through observation and having them complete a variety of fine motor skills and then grading them on each skill. They then proceeded to take the total of the grades given for the skills observed and found that females tended to have finer motor skills than males. This could potentially be due to stereotypes since young girls are generally known to color or play with small dolls which both would require fine motor skills, but this has yet to be proven.
The abilities which involve the use of hands develop over time, starting with primitive gestures such as grabbing at objects to more precise activities that involve precise eye–hand coordination. Fine motor skills are skills that involve a refined use of the small muscles controlling the hand, fingers, and thumb. The development of these skills allows one to be able to complete tasks such as writing, drawing, and buttoning. During the infant and toddler years, children develop basic grasping and manipulation skills, which are refined during the preschool years. The preschooler becomes quite adept in self-help, construction, holding grips, and bimanual control tasks requiring the use of both hands. When the child enters middle childhood they make great progress in their artistic abilities. They begin to express themselves through drawing, sculpting, and clay modeling.