How Playgrounds Can Enhance Fine Motor Skills

How Playgrounds Can Enhance Fine Motor Skills

Jun 15th 2020

How Playgrounds Can Enhance Fine Motor Skills

We’ve talked quite a bit about how playgrounds are key players in children’s development. It helps their social skills flourish, helps build their confidence, and aids in developing physical strength and dexterity. One of the best aspects of free play that occurs on the playground is that it contributes to the growth of gross and fine motor skills. It helps them climb and skip, grab and push, and so much more. In this post, we’re going to examine specifically how playgrounds can enhance fine motor skills. We’ll discuss a few different pieces of playground equipment and how those develop your children’s fine motor skills. Check it out!

Activity Panels

Some of the best elements of the playground for developing fine motor skills are activity panels. They require children to push buttons, press small knobs, and interact with surfaces of different textures and colors. There are so many different types of activity panels as well, so the more that children interact with the playground, the greater chance to refine those fine motor skills.

Fine motor skills like holding a pencil and opening a jar are improved when at the playground. These activity panels target just those hand and arm muscles so that holding a pencil and opening a jar become second nature. For example, the “power grasp” is the most common grasp pattern at the playground and often off the playground.


Core strength, balance, and coordination are all gross motor skills, but climbers partner those with fine motor skills as well. They require children to grasp handrests (power grasp is back again), hang on to monkey bars, and rotate their forearms. Climbers are one of the best pieces of playground equipment when it comes to the development of both gross and fine motor skills. Kids need all the balance, forearm rotation, hand strength, and more that they receive from this piece of equipment.

When used safely, climbers develop motor skills in a way that many other pieces of equipment cannot.

Swing Sets

Swing sets are a piece of playground equipment you probably didn’t realize makes a difference with children’s fine motor skills. It definitely targets gross motor as well—keying in on core work and back muscle enhancement. But it also promotes fine motor skills. The grip kids need to hold on to the ropes is essential to fine motor development. Not just because of forearm rotation and muscle building, but also because of wrist stability. A lot of the body parts that kids use while swinging on swings ends up playing a large role in fine motor skills development.

We can tell you all about how playgrounds help develop fine motor skills, but you’ll see the most development when you let the kids out and engage in free play on the playground. If you want to enhance your backyard playground, shop with us! We have climbers, activity panels, swing sets, and more to get you started. Take our playground sanitizer with you to the park or the backyard and give the surfaces a good scrubbing before you let the kids loose.