Sequence of Fine Motor Development

As the result of the intensive Neuro Dynamix gross motor intervention that stimulated the

  • proprioceptors in the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints, and
  • central (in the brain stem in the neck) and peripheral (in the inner ears) vestibular system

the learner now has improved muscle tone, the head is held above the spine and enjoys a stable posture. The learner is now ready to develop from inside-out (proximal-distal).

Fine motor development starts with a stable head and posture and progresses to the small muscles of the fingers, toes and finally the eyes.

Poor pencil grip hampers tempo of work and task completion.


Fine motor skills are distinct from gross motor skills which involve the development of larger muscle groups needed for movements such as kicking, running and jumping. Fine motor skills are necessary for many aspects of self-care: putting on shoes, eating, cleaning teeth, using toilet paper. Fine motor skills are also critical for the development of emergent writing and reading skills.

In most programmes fine motor only refers to the hands, but the development of fine motor skills starts with the mouth during infant feeding and systematically develops over months to include the hands and fingers, feet and toes until the eyes are neuro-physiologically ready to learn to read at the age of seven.








Both the action of the tongue and the lips are fine motor movements.

Learners with speech and language issues often also have problems eating.

There is a correlation between speech issues and poor fine motor in the hands and fingers.

BABKIN REFLEX is responsible for the involuntary movement of the hands, toes and feet when a baby feeds. It should disappear 5 months after birth, but if it doesn’t a learner would simultaneously move their hands and mouth when they draw, cut or fasten a button.

When the Babkin reflex is still present, a learner uses muscles that are not relevant, to complete a task. That is why some learners move their tongue, mouth or jaw when tying their laces or writing neatly. As with poor posture, concentration is then divided and a large portion of the learner’s concentration goes to the physical aspect of writing and only a small portion of concentration is available for the learner to process what they are writing or reading. Poor concentration, slow tempo of work and poor task completion follow naturally in the presence of an infant reflex in a learner of school going age.

Neuro Dynamix works off the premise that a learner of school going age has sufficiently developed the fine motor muscles of the mouth to speak clearly. Where pronunciation is unclear or a learner’s language of learning is not on par, the help of a speech therapist would be helpful. Because the mouth can only say what the ear can hear, it would be preferred to refer to a speech therapist with dual audiology training. A language enrichment programme would further support the learner to become language proficient.

When learners play they are continually improving the link between what their eyes see, and what they are touching and holding.

As learners improve their fine motor skills they increasingly become more independent in doing a range of tasks such as eating, speaking, washing and dressing themselves.

Fine motor skills

Gravitational security
Neat eating
Sensory feedback
Spatial perception
Visual perceptual
Visual-motor integration
Eye-hand coordination
Eye-foot coordination
Motor planning
Critical thinking
Clear pronunciation
Speech and language
Creative problem-solving.