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Fine motor skills: what developmental signs should I be looking for?

Children develop at different paces, but on average, your child should be able to manage the following tasks from around the times of their birthdays:

At two years old:
Your child should be able to turn a door knob.
He or she should be able to stack five or six blocks.
Your child should be able to remove his or her own shoes and socks.
Holding a pencil or crayon should be a skill your child has mastered, and he or she should be able to draw a straight, horizontal line.
Straws and eating utensils should also have been mastered, although your child may still hold his or her fork or spoon a little differently.
More advanced children may be able to brush their teeth with assistance, wash their hands, scribble and take off their nappy and clothes.

At three years old:
Nine or ten blocks should be no trouble for your child to stack.
He or she should also be able to wash his or her own hands, and probably undress.
Feeding him or herself should no longer be a problem.
Using scissors, and drawing a circle and cross, should also be skills your child has mastered.
Stringing beads, and pouring water from a jug (even with a few spills) are now also possible for your child, and he or she can probably brush his or her own teeth.
Eating without messing may be possible for some children, as may cutting a reasonably straight line with scissors, and fastening buttons, as long as they are large.

At four years old:
Your child can probably dress him or her self, and only struggles with complex tasks, like using zippers and tying bows.
Drawing simple shapes on command is probably also not a problem for your child.
Your child will probably be able to cut out round shapes by now, and when building blocks, can build sturdy and stable towers and structures.
Folding a piece of paper or napkin into a square or triangle is now also among your child’s skills.
By this age, your child may also be able to bathe him or her self, use a toilet unaided, may have started writing his or her name, and can probably draw three part sketches of people.

More questions

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When you catch your preschooler telling a lie, it is natural to be worried. Parents may feel that when their child lies, it reflects on their parenting abilities.
When you catch your preschooler telling a lie, it is natural to be a bit upset. A parent may think that when their child lies, it reflects on their parenting skills.
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It must be understood that boys are known to develop slower than girls. Each child is different, and as long as your child is developing and progressing at a steady pace, then you have nothing to worry about.
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31 month olds are developing fast, and they’re learning a lot about more abstract concepts now – although that may result in some difficult to answer questions for you!
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By 27 months, your child is rapidly leaving the toddler years behind, and growing into an energetic and clever child!

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