When your child is 5 years old, you are making the difficult decision – send to kindergarten or not send to kindergarten?  Your child’s developmental skill level as well as their social maturity will play a big part in your decision.  Below is an abbreviated list of what fine motor skills your child should have by the time they are 5 years old.  Hopefully, you have been progressively encouraging these tasks.

If your child is not able to perform all of the below skills, now you are armed with the knowledge to help!  Start drawing people in more detail, pay attention to how your child holds their pencil and buy a grip if needed, cut out shapes and practice shoe tying.

 ____Draws a person with 6 different body parts

____Static tripod grasp

____Cuts a square

____Folds a piece of paper in half

____Able to copy a couple letters (usually their name)

____Ties shoes

____Read and write numbers 1-5

____Trace letters

Shoe tying is quite challenging for some children to learn.  See our blog on shoe tying for more details.  Here are a few tips:

*Plan ahead and leave extra time to practice tying shoes when your child truly needs to put them on

*Be sure that you only purchase shoes with ties after about age 4 – 4 1/2 showing your child that this is the age they should start learning to tie.

*Have another child/sibling model for the child learning to tie

*Practice first on a shoe that is NOT on their foot but position the shoe in front of the child as if it is on their foot.  This encourages the correct hand positioning and directs the vision down versus out like in tying a shoe on a foot.

If your child is not mastering the above skills by age 5 or after a couple months of encouraging by you now that you have the knowledge, please contact their pediatrician for advice.  ABC’s Occupational Therapists love to teach parents tips/tricks to help their children to maximize their potential.  Let us know if we can help!