Activities by Skills

Just like adults, children have their strengths and weaknesses. You might find that your child is really great at gross motor skills but not fine motor skills. This section gives you ideas of activities based on developmental skills that can be addressed across several years of development.


Cognitive-perceptual skills involve the thought processes, interpretation, and comprehension of information that allows children to learn and understand the world around them. This includes memory, concentration, logical thinking, counting, matching, identifying, recognizing and discriminating between objects, sorting, and problem solving skills.

Fine Motor

Fine motor skills involve the coordination of small muscle movements of the hand and fingers usually in coordination with the eyes. This includes grasping objects, manipulating fasteners, coloring, drawing, cutting, and handwriting skills.

Gross Motor

Gross motor skills involve the coordination of large muscle movements of the arms and legs usually in coordination with the eyes. This includes crawling, walking, rolling, throwing, catching, kicking, jumping, running, balancing, and holding poses.


Speech, language, and social skills are elements of communication. Speech skills include several components including the process of sound production, voice, and respiration. Language skills include several components including the manipulation of sound, understanding of the meaning of words, grammar, the interpretation of signs and symbols, and the social aspects of communication.


Self-care skills are an important part of independence. Most parents don’t realize that giving children an opportunity to practice these skills also improve other skills as well including fine motor and cognitive skills. Self-care skills include getting dressed, eating, using utensils, tying shoelaces, manipulating clothing fasteners, counting coins, telling time, and even sleeping.

Sensory Play

The common five senses of hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch are well known and understood. There are also two other senses that are especially important. The proprioceptive sense involves how the joints of the body interpret information. This includes how much pressure a child uses when performing activities or how much impact the joints need to feel an action. The vestibular sense involves how the body interprets movement from input received in the ear. This influences eye movements, balance, posture, and how the body understands its position in space.