ACTIVITIES THAT FOCUS ON FINE MOTOR SKILLS
- Practice getting dressed independently and working on snaps and zippers
- Teach the “pinch-pinch-pull” method so children can open their own snacks
- Pop bubble wrap.
- See what you can find in your yard that you can pick up with tweezers.
- Hide coins or small figures in playdough or use scissors to cut playdough spaghetti
- Make a collage by cutting and gluing scrap paper or old magazines
- Make a shape from popsicle sticks and see if your child can duplicate it
- Finger paint with shaving cream (it will wipe right off the table when done and smells amazing!)
- Practice letter and number shapes by having children roll dough into snake shapes and form the letters/numbers around an outline.
- Play matching games by labeling clothespins with letters, numbers, colors, etc. Have children match by pinching open clothespins and attaching to the same item drawn on thick cardboard or paper plate.
- Let the child use a hole puncher and follow a straight line or simple shape drawn on paper. Have the child practice counting as they punch out the holes.
- Use tweezers to pick up and/or sort small items as cheerios, goldfish, shells, peas, seeds, etc. Incorporate counting into this activity as well.
- Sequence beads by making patterns with different shaped and colored beads (or string macaroni)
- Cooking activities help foster sequencing skills as well as develop fine motor skills. Let children practice opening jars and stirring up the mixture. Squeezing out sponges is also beneficial for hand strength.
- Fold paper to make hats, boats, planes, etc.
- Encourage play with toys such as Legos and Duplos
- Let a child rip out pages of an old phone book or magazine. Roll into a ball and let them “shoot” it into a basket.
- Let them pop the bubbles of bubble wrap packaging. Encourage your child to squeeze the bubbles with their thumb and index finger.
- Squeeze the trigger portion of a spray bottle and water sprayers by letting your child help water plants.
- Use turkey baster or eye droppers to transfer water from one container to the next. Make it more exciting by using several different cups of water with different food colors in each one. Your child will have fun mixing the colors to make new ones!
- Make a sensory box by filling a large container with dried rice and beans. Let children squeeze the mixture. Have them use tweezers to find the beans. Hide small toys or items in the rice and have children try and find them.
- Make a “Feely Box” by wrapping up a box in wrapping paper. Put several items in the box and ask the child to reach in and identify objects by touch. Or ask your child to take out a specific item that you name or describe, without looking.
- Have your child do mazes. If your child struggles with mazes, pre-draw the path using a yellow marker. Have them trace your line with a red marker.
- Make simple dots-to-dots. Use letters or numbers to have your child sequence the steps to complete the drawing. Or use stickers to make a shape such as a triangle. Have your child draw lines connecting all the stickers.
- Tracing Activities: If your child is struggling with forming letters and/or shapes, start simple by having them trace lines, zigzags, circles. Encourage them to start at the top and work down.
- Use sidewalk chalk
- Egg Carton and Beans - Have the child hold a few beans in his/her hand, and place them into the container one by one by moving a single bean up to the fingertips each time without dropping the others stored in their palm.
- Tearing paper - make sure the paper is being pinched at the top and wrists are rotating (one hand forward and one hand backwards) to tear paper. The paper should not be pulled, but ripped.
- Baking/cooking tasks: Work on bilateral coordination (two hands together) and grip strength. Roll dough with rolling pin, spread icing on cake or cookies, stir a bowl while holding it, sprinkle toppings, squeeze bottle for toppings/ingredients
- Draw a picture with stencils
- Fun Activities to Improve Fine Motor
- Playdough Recipe
- Pencil Grasp Tips
- How To Teach Scissor Cutting Skills
- NAEYC Tips
Early Childhood Partners programs are funded by the Massachusetts Coordinated Family & Community Engagement (CFCE) grant awarded to Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) serving Hamilton, Wenham, Manchester, and Essex. All educational and non-academic programs, activities and employment opportunities at Hamilton-Wenham RSD are offered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, homelessness, age and/or, disability, and any other class or characteristic
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