This study was designed to obtain a detailed picture of the fine motor requirements in regular elementary school classrooms. This knowledge is critical for occupational therapists in working with children with fine motor and handwriting problems who are mainstreamed into regular classes. The allocation of time to fine motor activities and the type of fine motor tasks children are expected to perform in elementary school were investigated through the observation of six elementary school classrooms. A written minute-by-minute record of one whole day’s activities in each classroom showed that 30% to 60% of the day was allocated to fine motor activities, with writing tasks predominating over other manipulative tasks. Implications for children with fine motor difficulties include the need for modifications to volume of work, types of tasks, and materials.

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