Skilfully using your fingers is necessary for academic skills like writing and cutting; play skills like Lego construction and manipulation of small toy pieces; and self care skills such as using zips and buttons, opening lunch boxes, tying shoelaces and cleaning teeth.

Occupational Therapists can help children develop the fundamental fingers skills that are crucial for academic, play and self care skill development.

Children who struggle with fiddly finger skills can have difficulties with:

Academic Skills

  • Pencil skills (writing, drawing, colouring)
  • Scissor skills (cutting)

Self Care

  • Dressing – tying shoelaces, doing up sandals, zips, buttons, belts
  • Eating – using cutlery, opening lunch boxes and zip lock bags
  • Hygiene - cleaning teeth, brushing hair, toileting


  • Construction skills using Lego, duplo, puzzles, train tracks
  • Doll dressing and manipulation
  • IT use (e.g. mouse and stylus manipulation)

Other Useful Resources

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