High Fives & Handwriting: Connecting Gross & Fine Motor Skills

Posted by Autumn Templeton on 29th Jan 2020

Gross motor skills aren’t just good for sports.

Coordination is made up of gross and fine motor skills working in tandem. Gross motor skills involve movement of large body parts. Arms, legs, and our torso help us to crawl, run, swim, and hug. Fine motor skills include smaller movements that use fingers, hands, feet, toes, and wrists. They help us complete smaller actions like picking up objects, writing, pointing, and even winking.

It is commonly known that having good gross motor skills can lead to success in sports. However, that is not the only benefit. Developing your child’s gross motor skills can also influence their ability to write well and strengthen their capability to concentrate in the classroom.

Gaining control of muscle groups in the neck, shoulders, and core develop stability. As children develop, that stability and control progress to smaller muscle groups. Shoulder stability extends to the arm, elbow, wrist, and finally the hand. Activities that strengthen gross motor skills allow children to develop smoother and more effective body movements and increase a child’s sense of spatial orientation and body consciousness. The control of fine motor skills is reinforced and developed from gross motor skills.

Bust out the Twister, do morning jumping jacks, play hopscotch, or throw a bunch of pillows around the living room and make the carpet ‘lava’! Practice and repetition of mindful movement give children opportunity to take command of their bodies and therefore have more control in all movements. It’s fun to think that giving a great high five could help a child with their penmanship. High five!


Written by Autumn Templeton, CALP, CDP

Autumn is the Center Director of the Brainspring Learning Centers in Bloomfield Hills and West Bloomfield, Michigan.



Janet Lerner; 2011;  Learning Disabilities