Fine Motor Skills

When should I choose this area of focus for my Gabadoo?

Fine Motor Skills refers to the use of your hands and fingers to complete a task. So think about all the movements throughout the day that you use your hands for, there is a very long list. If your baby, toddler, child or teenager is finding fine motor tasks challenging to complete or they find it hard to do them quickly or for a long period of time, doing a Gabadoo can really help! 

What kinds of tasks relate to Fine Motor Skills:

When looking at fine motor skills, you want to think about how your child grasps objects with their hands to manipulate them and use them for a purpose such as playing with a toy, holding a bottle or cup, using a spoon, opening a food packet, lunch-box or drink bottle, turning on a tap and using a soap dispenser, opening a door with a key, controlling a ruler or protractor, colouring with pencils or markers or completing different craft activities using glue, scissors and craft supplies. 

You could also choose this area of focus if your child can complete these tasks independently but doesn't seem to have the endurance and speed when completing tasks with their hands. Our team can guide you around developing their strength and endurance so tasks become less effortful to complete. 


There is a separate area of focus for handwriting so if your concern is around your child's handwriting, please refer to this blog post as although handwriting is a fine motor skill, it has its own area of focus. So when you are completing your Gabadoo, select handwriting as your area of focus. 

There is also a separate area of focus for dressing skills so if your child is having difficulty with dressing or undressing including laces or buttons, completing completing your Gabadoo, select dressing skills as your area of focus. You can read about this area of focus here. 

What information do I need to include in my Gabadoo?

As our Gabadoo Team have never met your family before and know nothing about your child, they can only provide strategies based on the information you provide so be very detailed!

After you have filled in the relevant information in your Gabadoo, go through this checklist to make sure you have included the following:

Family & Home Life:

Description of your family & the structure of your family including siblings, pets or any extended family who are living in your home.

The space you have available & whether or not you have access to a garden. 

Your daily routine including school hours, drop offs, child-care and free time in the evening and at the weekends so our team provide activities that are achievable for your routine. 

Strengths and Interests:

What does your child like to do?

What games, toys, T.V. programs, characters do they like?

Do they prefer to be outdoors or indoors?

Do they like playing with other children?

What motivates them to do less preferred activities?

Do they respond to praise from adults? 

Additional Information:

What class is your child in at school?

What type of schooling do they receive? i.e. homeschooling, mainstream N.S., gaelscoil, preschool, ASD class, Special School. 

Have you seen any professionals in the past in relation to fine motor skills? Or has your child ever had a medical review because of their fine motor skills?(i.e. arthritis, hypermobility, fractures). If so, what was the outcome?

What have you tried before to work on these fine motor skills? Include toys used at home, previous groups, intervention, support at school, parent courses you have completed and/or specific equipment you have bought. 

 Make sure to include:

What skills you would like support around (e.g. scissor skills) and what level is your child at with this skill? E.g. cutting straight lines, can't hold the scissors etc.

What would you like to gain from this Gabadoo? For example: I would like strategies to develop my child's ability to hold and drink from a cup. 

List your observations in relation to this skill include details like how your child reacts to doing fine motor tasks, what part of the skill they find challenging, if you have practiced this skill with them before and whether they are engaged/avoidant or appear tired when doing fine motor activities.

Next include videos and images of your child completing these fine motor tasks & make sure to include:

  • A video clip that shows their whole body so we can review how their posture might impact on their fine motor skills.  
  • A video clip that is closer of them completing a fine motor tasks but still includes their shoulders, mouth and hands.
  • Try to include a few clips of them completing different fine motor tasks so we can get an even better idea of how to support them e.g. colouring at the table, cutting with a scissors, using cutlery during dinner, playing with different toys. 
  • An close-up image of their hand if relevant (e.g. holding cutlery or a colouring pencil) and the space where they engage in these activities (e.g. playroom, kitchen table)

If you don't want to display your child's whole face, that's fine and just display as far as their shoulders and mouth as mentioned above. This is important to review their posture. 

Remember: The more information you give our team, the more individualised and relevant your plan will be.

What support will I receive for my child?

Your information will be reviewed by one of our Gabadoo Experts who is experienced in the area of 'fine motor skills'. They will detail individualised strategies, activities, next steps and helpful organisations and products that you can use at home to develop your child's skills. 

So, I'm ready to do my Gabadoo, what's my 'Area of Focus'


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