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Fine Motor Skills and Reading

Fine Motor Skills and ReadingFine Motor Skills and Reading

Prior to kindergarten, fine motor skills are important for school readiness.  Research indicates that fine motor skills play a role in cognition and language development.  The Journal of Research in Reading recently investigated the relationship between fine motor skills and reading development in 144 kindergartners in Germany.  Each child was evaluated with several fine motor skills, early readings skills and cognitive measures.  The results indicated the following:

  • fine motor skills related less strongly than graphomotor skills to emergent literacy skills.
  • when controlling for graphomotor and cognitive skills, fine motor skills did not explain the variance in emergent literacy skills.
  • graphomotor skills played a significant role in early reading development (even when children did not have cognitive knowledge of letters).

Graphomotor skills are the skills necessary for handwriting.  Some of the components include visual perceptual skills, visual motor coordination, orthographic coding (the ability to understand, recognize and remember writing components such as letter formation, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation), motor planning and kinesthetic feedback (the ability to recognize where the hand and arm is to form letters – influences legibility and speed of handwriting).

The researchers concluded that encouraging the development of graphomotor skills may be important in kindergarten for early reading.

Reference:  Suggate, S., Pufke, E., & Stoeger, H. (2018). Do fine motor skills contribute to early reading development?. Journal of Research in Reading41(1), 1-19.

Looking for activities to encourage graphomotor and fine motor skills in young children?  Find out more below.

Hands First for Learning Fine Motor Curriculum and Preschool Units

VINGO – Visual Motor Bingo

Lines, Lines, and Motor Lines

Fading Lines and Shapes

Read more on:

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Fine Motor Skills and Reading