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fine motor artIn Part 1 of Art Readiness for the Unwilling Child, perfectionism and fear were examined as prospective causes for a reluctance to create art.  Fine motor challenges and motor planning isms may also play a role in an avoidance to create art.  “Art may represent a  place that offers potential embarrassment, anxiety, and frustration or a place to fail.”

Fine Motor Difficulties
For some kids the challenge and discomfort of limited fine motor skills is uncomfortable.  They may not have the stamina or dexterity for traditional ways of making art like painting with a paint brush or drawing with a pencil.  This does not make creating art fun for them.


  • Printing projects work well for artists with hand mobility limitations.  Find different objects that can be held and used to print on a surface.  Since each artist is different experiment with different objects you may see around you.  One artist that I work with is severely limited.  With some hand over hand assistance she can hold a cork from a wine bottle.  This fits just right in the palm of her hand.   We dip the round cork in paint and print circles on the paper.  We also use a small square block of wood.  This can be gripped in the palm of her hand and with assistance  dipped in paint creating printed squares.  Squares in different colors of paint can be layered over each other to create interesting designs.  Very cool pieces can be created from these simple ideas.
  • There are many other interesting items that can be found and used.  Look for anything that might have different textures and offer interesting potential patterns and surfaces.  You will be surprised at what interesting things may be around you that could offer very interesting options.  (Anything can be dipped in paint!)   Regular kitchen sponges  can be used.  They can be cut smaller to be easier to hold and create square printed images on paper when dipped in paint.  Some kitchen scrubbers have knobs that can be gripped and create interesting printed textures.  A small round rubber ball can be an interesting item to experiment with.  Dip it in paint and help the artist grip it in their hand.  Roll it around with the artist to create an interesting paint trail.  A small painting roller with a handle can be gripped and pushed back and forth with very little effort to create paths of paint.  Not all of these items may work well for an artist and they will have their preferences.  It is all about experimenting.

What if your child does not know where to start?  Turn the page below…