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Fine Motor Skills and Math

Fine motor skills and math abilities in children have been investigated by researchers to determine their associations with one another.

Fine motor skills and math abilities in children have been investigated by researchers to determine their associations with one another. Do fine motor skill abilities effect the development of math skills? Is the development of math skills associated with fine motor skill development?

Fine Motor Skills as a Predictor of Math Skills

One study examined the relationship of fine motor skills and math.  Fine Motor Precision and Fine Motor Integration, and early reading and math skills were investigated in primary school children.  The researchers concluded that:

  • children performed better in reading than math.
  • fine motor skills were a better predictor of early math skill ability than they were of early reading ability.
  • fine motor skills did not significantly predict reading ability when verbal short-term memory was taken into account.
  • Fine Motor Integration remained a significant predictor of math skill ability, even after the influence of non-verbal IQ had been taken into account.

The researchers concluded that fine motor skills should have an important role in educational interventions that support the development of early mathematical skills (Pitchford, et al, 2016).

Fine Motor Skill Training and Mathematical Skills

Other researchers wanted to examine the effect of fine motor skill training interventions on arithmetical abilities among 80 first graders. The intervention group received 10 minutes of fine motor skill training compared to the other group who read their favorite book for 10 minutes.  The results indicated the following:

  • the intervention group showed greater improvements in performance on an arithmetic task and a pegboard than did the reading group.

The researchers concluded that that training for improving fine motor skills had a significant influence on arithmetical abilities in children (Asakawa et al, 2019).

Read more on Fine Motor Skills

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Fine Motor Skills Activities and Ideas

School Related Fine Motor Skills – Understanding the Components

Fine Motor Skills and Reading

Fine Motor Skills Linked to Numerical Skill Development

Resources to Help Children Develop Fine Motor Skills

Fine Motor Stations Series 1 digital download includes 25 fun and engaging fine motor activities for children using simple and easily obtained materials.  Written by Regina Parsons-Allen, COTA,  the activities are designed to be intrinsically motivating and quickly engaging while maintaining child interest.  Most items are readily available in schools and home.  Suggestions and modifications are provided to be inclusive of many skill levels.

The Fantastic Fingers®  Fine Motor Program is a comprehensive fine motor program that includes ebook, music, and instructional videos. It’s user-friendly, research-based, and improves children’s fine motor skills, pencil grip, posture and more.  It also integrates many early literacy and numeracy skills.

References:

Asakawa, A., Murakami, T., & Sugimura, S. (2019). Effect of fine motor skills training on arithmetical ability in children. European Journal of Developmental Psychology16(3), 290-301.

Pitchford, N. J., Papini, C., Outhwaite, L. A., & Gulliford, A. (2016). Fine motor skills predict maths ability better than they predict reading ability in the early primary school years. Frontiers in psychology7, 783.