Fine Motor Skills and Strength

Hi there! My son just turned 6 and still cannot open a water bottle on his own. This is a skill that he struggles with. Can you please share some tips on how we can achieve water bottle opening? Thanks!!

Hey! Firstly, are there other fine motor tasks in which he struggles? Can he button and unbutton a shirt and fasten a zipper? Is he able to open snack packages?

Water bottles can be a little tricky, especially the Poland Springs water bottles because the cap is now smaller than before. My recommendation would be to break the seal of the water bottle just enough to make him successful. In other words, you start to open it for him and then let him finish the task. As he becomes more and more successful, you can keep the cap a little tighter for him, with the goal being that eventually he will be able to open he cap by himself.

Encourage activities like hanging and swinging on the monkey bars and climbing at the playground. These activities help to strengthen some of the larger muscles of the hand. To tackle some of the fine muscles, encourage games and activities that require manipulation of smaller pieces, like legos. Putty and play dough can also be fun options to improve strength and dexterity in the hands. Pretty soon he will gain the necessary strength to open that water bottle with ease!


Hi Mary! Thank you for replying.

He can actually button and unbutton shirts. He can also fasten zippers and open snack packages. We are still working on pants with buttons that snap because he can unsnap them, but not snap them back.

We will definitely try the bottle cap tip that you suggested. He is constantly gulping down water so opening a bottle is something we really would like for him to do on his own for when he goes back to school.

He enjoys playing with Legos and Plus-Plus toys so hopefully his fine motor skills improve with reinforcement from monkey bars and such.

Thanks again!


Perfect, great to hear!! If he’s doing well in all of those other areas that require precise fine motor skills, I think he should get it soon! Please keep us updated! :slight_smile: