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How Can Technology Negatively Impact Fine Motor Skills in Children, and What Can Parents Do to Mitigate These Effects?


In the digital age, technology has become an integral part of our life. It has many benefits, but it also has drawbacks, particularly in terms of child development. One area that can be negatively impacted by technology is the fine motor skills development in children. Fine motor skills involve the coordination of small muscles in the hands and fingers, enabling children to perform essential tasks such as writing, drawing, and using utensils. In this article, we will investigate how technology can have a negative impact on children’s fine motor abilities and give parents practical techniques to offset these impacts.

How Can Technology Negatively Impact Fine Motor Skills in Children?

Reduced Physical Activity: Technology, such as smartphones, tablets, and video games, frequently encourages sedentary behavior, restricting possibilities for children to engage in physical activities that enhance fine motor skill development. When children spend too much time on these gadgets, they miss out on key experiences that help them improve their hand-eye coordination and dexterity.

Limited Manipulative Play: Manipulative play, which involves using objects to build, stack, or sort, is crucial for the development of fine motor skills. However, technology-based toys and games tend to provide limited opportunities for hands-on exploration and manipulation. Instead, they rely more on-screen interactions, which do not offer the same tactile experiences as traditional toys and can hinder the development of fine motor skills.

Decreased Hand Strength: Fine motor skills require adequate hand strength, which is developed through activities that involve squeezing, gripping, and manipulating objects. Excessive use of technology, which often involves swiping and tapping on touchscreens, may not provide sufficient resistance to strengthen the hand muscles. This can lead to a weakened grip and reduced control over fine motor movements.

Improper Posture: Prolonged use of technology devices can contribute to poor posture in children, which can indirectly impact their fine motor skills. Slouching or hunching over screens can put a strain on the neck, shoulders, and back, leading to muscle tension and restricted movement. When the body is not properly aligned, it can affect the coordination and precision required for fine motor tasks.

Limited Hand-Eye Coordination: Fine motor skills heavily rely on the coordination between the hands and eyes. Technology use, especially excessive screen time, can disrupt this coordination by diverting the focus primarily to visual stimuli. This can hinder the development of accurate hand movements and the ability to track objects with the eyes, negatively affecting fine motor skills.

What Can Parents Do to Mitigate These Effects?

Promote Balanced Screen Time: Setting limits on screen time is essential to ensure children have a healthy balance between technology use and other activities. Encourage a variety of experiences that promote the development of fine motor skills, such as outdoor play, creative arts, and hands-on manipulative play.

Provide Manipulative Toys and Games: Choose toys and games that require hands-on manipulation, such as building blocks, puzzles, and art supplies. These activities engage the hands and fingers, promoting the development of fine motor skills. Additionally, consider incorporating traditional toys that do not rely solely on technology to encourage open-ended play and creativity.

The Sakara Do-It-Yourself Super 12 is a building block toy designed to aid in the development of fine motor skills in children. With a set of 120 colorful pieces, this engaging kit encourages hands-on exploration and manipulation. By assembling the various components, children enhance their hand-eye coordination, finger dexterity, and overall fine motor control. The process of connecting the pieces helps strengthen their grip, precision, and spatial awareness. Moreover, the different shapes and sizes of the components promote problem-solving skills and stimulate creativity. Through interactive play, the Sakara “Do-It-Yourself Super 12” nurtures and supports the essential growth of fine motor skills in children.

Encourage Physical Play: Involve children in activities that require physical mobility, such as biking, athletics, or dancing lessons. These activities help develop overall muscle strength and coordination, including the fine motor skills required for tasks like writing and drawing.

Teach Proper Ergonomics: Educate children on the importance of maintaining good posture while using technology devices. Encourage them to sit up straight, with their feet flat on the floor, and screens at eye level. Additionally, provide ergonomic accessories, such as adjustable chairs and desks, to support their posture during screen time.

Integrate Fine Motor Skills Exercises: Incorporate activities that specifically target fine motor skills into daily routines. These may include tasks like cutting with child-safe scissors, stringing beads, or using clothespins to pick up small objects. Such exercises strengthen the hand muscles and improve coordination.

Engage in Joint Activities: Participate in activities together that involve fine motor skills, such as cooking, gardening, or crafting. Parents may act as role models and give direction and support to their children as they improve their fine motor abilities by doing so. Joint activities also foster bonding and create opportunities for learning and exploration.

FAQs about Fine Motor Skills Development in Children

Q: Can technology have any positive effects on fine motor skills in children?

A: While excessive technology use can have negative impacts, there are certain technology-based tools and apps specifically designed to enhance fine motor skills in children. These tools provide interactive experiences that promote hand-eye coordination, finger dexterity, and precision movements.

Q: At what age do fine motor skills typically develop in children?

A: Fine motor skills begin to develop in infancy and continue to refine throughout childhood. By the age of three, most children can perform basic tasks such as grasping objects, scribbling, and stacking blocks. These skills further develop as children grow and engage in various activities.

Q: How can parents determine if their child is experiencing delays in fine motor skills development?

A: Parents should observe their child’s progress in achieving age-appropriate milestones related to fine motor skills. Delays may be indicated if a child struggles with tasks such as holding utensils, buttoning clothing, or writing their name. Consulting with a pediatrician or occupational therapist can provide further guidance.

Q: Are there any warning signs that excessive technology use is negatively impacting a child’s fine motor skills?

A: Yes, warning signs may include decreased interest in hands-on activities, increased reliance on technology for play, reduced ability to perform age-appropriate fine motor tasks, and persistent discomfort or pain in the hands, wrists, or neck.

Q: Are there any long-term consequences if fine motor skills are not properly developed in childhood?

A: Difficulties in fine motor skills development can affect a child’s academic performance, self-esteem, and daily functioning. It may impact tasks such as handwriting, self-care activities, and participation in sports or hobbies. Early intervention and support are crucial to address these challenges effectively.

Q: What other factors can influence fine motor skills development apart from technology use?

A: Fine motor skills development can be influenced by various factors, including genetics, environmental stimulation, opportunities for play and exploration, and overall physical health. Creating a well-rounded environment that encourages a variety of activities and experiences is important for holistic development.


While technology has numerous benefits, parents must be mindful of the possible detrimental effects on their children’s fine motor skills development. By understanding the risks associated with excessive technology use and implementing practical strategies, parents can mitigate these effects and support their children’s healthy development. Balancing screen time, providing hands-on experiences, promoting physical activities, and teaching proper ergonomics are key steps parents can take to foster the development of fine motor skills in their children. By nurturing these skills, children will be better equipped to navigate the digital world while maintaining their ability to perform essential tasks that require fine motor control.


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fine motor toys for 3 year olds

Social Skills

While Sakara is great for independent learning and development, one of the most educational things about it is the way it builds social skills as well.
When children build something together they learn to share, consider others’ opinions, take
turns, be patient, and give constructive feedback and criticism (“it might fall down if we do that; why don’t we try it this way”).
This also develops a collaborative nature and teaches children the joy of team work from an early stage.

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Colour and Shape Knowledge

Learning about colours and shapes in early childhood does not necessarily need to be taught with usual colour and shapes activities.
Children understand the building blocks of complex shapes and learn to use colour creatively as they play with Sakara.

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Focus and Concentration

Analyzing a pattern, active play, planning what piece comes next, waiting for their turn and listening to others (when building in a group) all takes focus and can hugely help with children who sometimes need a little extra help with concentration.
One of the reasons why Sakara is great for brain development is its ability to improve concentration span. The more a child is immersed in an activity, the better a child’s ability to focus.

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Anxiety and Stress

Playing with Sakara is shown to have a calming and relaxing effect, and this comes handy with children who may have anxiety or stress. The cubes also allow children to channel their nervous energy into creativity and creating new things with sakara cubes bring a feeling of order and tends to build self-confidence over time.

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Perseverance and Management of Frustrations

Playing with Sakara is intriguing as the cubes may come tumbling down because of one wrong move – initially this may be frustrating, however repeatedly playing with Sakara can help children develop perseverance and learn to overcome frustration, knowing that their
masterpieces can be re-built. It also allows an opportunity to try out new ideas without a fear of failure, as children tend to learn that errors are fixable.

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sensory and motor skills

Playing with Sakara has amazing benefits for the development of fine motor skills and aids in developing dexterity and strength in the fingers and sensory awareness. Playing with the small cubes strengthens little fingers and develops hand-eye coordination.

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Creativity and Experimentation

Sakara cubes spark creative energy and encourage children to bring their imagination to life.
The versatile nature of these cubes create an open space for self-expression and experimentation. While the provided ideas to model can be fun to introduce to kids, the possibilities of true learning happens when children build freely.

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Builds Problem solving, Mathematics and Spatial Awareness

The best way to encourage problem solving skills in children is to immerse them in play that challenges them to constantly solve problems creatively.
As they decipher order, understand quantity, symmetry, patterns and location of the cubes, children also improve geometric and arithmetic knowledge, and develop spatial awareness.

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(Multi-directional interlocking mechanism)

Unlike other building blocks which can only be attached vertically and horizontally, Sakara Cubes can also be attached diagonally. This unique feature allows children to create different, multiple and complex structures that helps explore their creativity and imagination without any limits.