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What is Fine and Gross Motor Control?

Gross motor skills refer to the controlling of large body movements that involve large muscle groups, including core stability and posture e.g. pushing, pulling, rolling, crawling, walking and sitting still.


Fine motor skills refer to physical skills that involve small muscles and hand-eye coordination. Movements are more controlled and precise and often a well-developed pincer grip is needed.

Fine motor skills are needed for:

  • mark making in communication, language and literacy.
  • counting equipment in numeracy, doing up buttons and laces.

Both gross motor skills and fine motor skills are needed for children to engage in creative activities such as dance and art. They are also important for health as children need to move to be active. They are needed for self care, like being able to go to the toilet independently, or getting dressed.


Understanding the differences between the two will help you appreciate many things, including the ways boys and girls develop, the types of learning opportunities you can have that develop both, and also the way you can cater for fine and gross motor skills in your indoor and outdoor environments.

 This link will explain the top 12 differences and how this knowledge can help you with supporting your child's development.