This paper proposes a simple method of hand skill assessment in children that can be useful in clinical practice. A reduced 5-hole version of Annett's Peg Moving Task was used to quantify hand skill bilaterally in 435 normally developing preschool and school-children, and adolescents aged 3–18 years from Brazil. The cross-cultural validity of the normative data obtained in Brazil was verified in 157 school-children aged 6–11 years from France. An application in 76 children with cerebral palsy (hemiplegia 21, diplegia 34, triplegia 6, mixed type 15) showed very important variability of the deficits in hand function within each subtype of cerebral palsy (CP). Hand deficits were more severe in children in special schools than in children in regular schools within each CP subtype. A qualitative analysis showed which difficulties during the execution of the task were specific to children with CP and which were also observed in normally developing children.