Roadmap: Fine motor control
From threading to needlework, drawing to collage, fine motor control is central to many favourite preschooler activities. Not to mention vital for pen control.
Finger isolation comes first. Think of this as the ability to play scales on the piano, one finger at a time. If you can't move a finger by itself it's hard to co-ordinate its movements with a second one. Pushing buttons and finger painting are great ways in for younger children.
Next comes the pincer grip. You pinch the thumb and forefinger together, for example when opening a clothes peg or pulling thread through the eye of a needle.
Finally, the tripod grip - using thumb, index and middle finger (like a tripod) to hold everything from cutlery to pencils.