Middle Childhood Intervention 6-12:

Motor Skills

The motor skills of children between 10 and 12 are very similar to those of adults. At this stage, children continue to work on their strength, stamina or endurance, and coordination. In fact, children this age can perform almost any motor activity that a grown-up can. It is highly recommended that a referral to a physical therapist or occupational therapist be made if the child shows some of the symptoms or warning signs described below.


  • When a child experiences delays in gross motor skills, he or she may:
  • not have a good sense of balance (that is, falling down and bumping into objects a lot);
  • be unable to ride bikes without training wheels;
  • be unable to throw, catch and kick a ball of any size;
  • struggle with complex sports that require keeping score, such as hockey or soccer (Fig. 1).


Figure 1. Hockey


When a child experiences delays in fine motor skills, he or she may:

  • not have good posture when reading and writing;
  • hold pens and pencils with their whole hands rather than use of the tripod position;
  • be unable to tie knots and secure bows;
  • be unable to unlock the dead bolt at home;
  • be unable to use scissors to cut complex shapes;
  • be unable to use an eraser without tearing the page;
  • be unable to paste or tape two things together;
  • be unable to type several sentences on the computer keyboard.
 see References


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