2–2.5 years old: Fine motor skill development

2–2.5 years old: Fine motor skill development

Your toddler’s fine motor skill development at 25–30 months old. Follow your toddler’s milestones step-by-step.

Fine motor skill development allows babies to learn how to use the little muscles in their hands and fingers to perform subtle movements, such as reaching for, grabbing, and handling small objects.

Fine motor skill development: 2–2.5 years old

At this age:

  • Your toddler can hold a pencil with their entire hand and scribble drawings.
Remember that not all children develop the same skills at the same speed. The material on this website is for general information purposes only. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, speak with a doctor.
  • They practise drawing by tracing lines.
  • They can build block towers that are seven blocks high or taller.
  • Your toddler can use scissors with both hands and cut with better control.
  • They can stack rings onto a peg.

Over the next few months, your toddler will begin to do the following:

  • Hold a pencil between their thumb and the tips of their other fingers.
  • Fold paper.
  • Get undressed on their own when their clothes are loose and unbuttoned.
  • Zip up their clothes when the bottom of the zipper is in the slider.
  • Hold scissors with one hand.
Find out how to support your toddler’s fine motor skill development through books. (In French)

How can you help your toddler progress?

Every child is different and develops at their own pace. That said, you can help foster your toddler’s development by adopting the Comfort, Play, and Teach parenting approach, which can easily be integrated into your daily routine. The table below outlines small, age-specific actions you can take that will help develop your toddler’s fine motor skill.

When you praise your toddler’s drawings and describe the shapes you see,
they understand that you’re interested in their artwork and feel encouraged to keep drawing.
When you give your toddler a chance to put on their own clothes, helping only when necessary,
they gradually start to dress themselves with more confidence, which helps develop their fine motor skills.
When you use modelling clay to create various shapes with your toddler,
they have fun kneading, pinching, rolling, smoothing, and shaping the clay. It’s a great way for them to develop dexterity and learn to use tools.
When you do crafts with your toddler (e.g., create beaded necklaces, make collages on cardboard),
they get better at holding objects between their thumb and forefinger (the pincer grasp).
When you give your toddler items of clothing like hats, shoes, coats, and pants for make-believe games,
they get to practise getting dressed while using their imagination.
When you provide your toddler with a variety of art supplies, such as markers, crayons, paint, and chalk,
they learn to use them skillfully as they scribble, draw lines, and trace shapes.
When you give your toddler kitchen tongs that they must use to hold and sort various objects,
they get to practise the motor skills they’ll need to handle scissors.
When your toddler does jigsaw puzzles that vary in size, colour, and number of pieces,
they learn how to grip objects with more dexterity and practise solving problems.
When you encourage your toddler to help with simple kitchen tasks, such as tearing lettuce or stirring ingredients with a spoon,
they learn that they can use their skills to help others. Helping in the kitchen also stimulates their sense of touch and helps develop fine motor skills.


Naître et grandir

Scientific review: Sonya Côté, occupational therapist
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: September 2019


Photo: GettyImages/emeliemaria



Please note that hyperlinks to other websites are not updated regularly, and some may have changed since publication. If a link is no longer valid, use search engines to find the relevant information.

  • Ferland, Francine. Le développement de l’enfant au quotidien : de 0 à 6 ans. 2nd ed., Éditions du CHU Sainte-Justine, 2018, 264 pp.
  • Canadian Paediatric Society. Caring for Kids. “Your child’s development: What to expect.” www.caringforkids.cps.ca
  • Université de Montréal. “Portail enfance et familles : Les étapes de développement de l’enfant de la naissance à l’adolescence.” www.portailenfance.ca