Traditionally, we have seen characteristic differences in the developing motor skills of boys and girls - usually evident beginning in early childhood. Boys tend to be ahead of girls in skills that emphasize power and force. By the time boys are 5, they can jump a longer distance, throw a ball farther, and run faster. Girls, on the other hand, have better fine-motor skills as well as gross motor skills involving foot movement and good balance. So, they are better at hopping, skipping, buttoning, and zipping.
Also, traditionally, young children have been guided towards different activities, as boys or girls. A good deal of boys’ play was outside, using large muscle groups - riding bikes, climbing, and running around. Boys were much more likely to be given baseballs and footballs and then more likely to have a family member play with them using this equipment. As a result, boys could throw a ball much farther than girls and were faster runners, largely due to practicing these skills. Fine motor skills were left in the dust, for the most part. Then there was the introduction of the hook and loop strips, that made shoe-tying a thing of the past, when this very activity was such a valuable one, across multiple developmental domains.
Girls have been channeled towards dramatic play, coloring, and other indoor activities. Their small motor skills benefitted from dressing dolls, using crayons, and making things. I would venture to guess that focusing on these activities was also increasing their attention spans, while boys may have been short-changed in this area. Girls also played hopscotch, jump rope, and took dance lessons- activities that improved their balance and agility.