Fine motor skills are basically small movements — such as picking up small objects which use the small muscles of the fingers & hands. These muscles need to be built which really go hand in hand (no pun intended) with hand-eye coordination. Children need to build these up!
Examples…picking up, pinching, grasping, pulling, squeezing, tweezing all of these things build up these little muscles. The sooner these little muscles can be developed the better. So when your kids begin to write, tie their shoes etc. they will do it with ease. Hopefully, these fun fine motor skills activities will aid in boosting your child’s early development.
20 Fine Motor Skills Activities
Chalkboard Water Painting
All you need is a chalkboard, chalk, water in a cup and a paintbrush, oh and a cloth to wipe after each word is finished.
All you need is a Lawry’s Seasoned Salt container and some Capri-sun or juice box straws. I always like to spruce it up with some construction paper and stickers to make it more interesting.
This is simply a small seasoning can with smaller holes than that of the above Lawry’s Seasoned Salt container same idea just with toothpicks for fine-tuning those little muscles.
Shape Sort Clink Can
Cut 2-square and 2-triangle shaped holes out of the top of a formula can. The little foam blocks I found in the Target dollar section.
Many ways to use this just get creative. Call out directions such as, place all the yellow triangles in the can…etc.
Scrunch & Glue
Cut tissue paper in small squares and then they scrunch them up into balls. Put a few dots on a piece of paper or picture, letter or number made out of dots and have them glue one ball per dot.
Mini Marshmallow 1 to 1 Letters
Froot loops Play-doh Stack
What You’ll Need:
- Tray or plate, I used an egg tray from the dollar store.
- Froot Loops or any round cereal with a hole in the center.
- Capri Sun Straws/ Juice Box Straws/ Spaghetti Noodles
- Place a flattened ball of Play-doh, it’s good to have your toddler or preschooler help you to set it up if they can. So have them roll the Play-doh in a ball & smash it so it is partially flattened.
- Next, have them poke the straws in the Play-doh firm enough to stand alone. (note: for a toddler I would just do 1 straw or spaghetti noodle.)
- Place some Froot Loops around the whole project so they have to reach around and grab from a lot of different areas to work those muscles.
- Finally, have them stack all or most of the Froot Loops on the straws.
- Let them know that the goal is to get them all the way to the top & the reward is a yummy snack.
- Have them stack in a color pattern
- Have them count the Froot Loops as they stack
- Have them count them out by color i.e. 5 red 3 yellow…
- Have them sort them into color before or after stacking
Lego Color sort
- Muffin Tin is what I used but you could also make an egg carton, ice cube tray or any little containers work as well.
- Legos of several different colors
Have them sort by color and that’s it…easy peasy!
- Write a color word and put it in the container
- have them count them out after adding them in
- have them stick them together & take them apart for extra fine motor practice
- make a pattern 2 pink 1 red 3 blue for following directions activity
Clothespin Color Match with Paint Chip Samples
Paint chip matching. You can get these color paint chip samples free anywhere they sell paint, we found ours at Wal-Mart. I cut them in half to make pairs and she matched them and clipped the matches together with a clothespin.
Pony bead muffin tin sort
Have your child sort the beads by color with hands or tongs.
Golf Tee Hammer Time
All you need is a plastic hammer, wooden golf tees and a piece of Styrofoam(dollar tree)
Two Part Paperclip Sort
1-Sort paperclip by color in the bowls 2- Sort on the paper I just clipped each color of paperclip to the top and drew lines…easy peasy!
2- Sort on the paper I just clipped each color of paperclip to the top and drew lines…easy peasy!
Q-tip Kool-aid Painting
Put a piece of thick paper on cookie sheets and sprinkled some Kool-aid all over the paper, give them cups of water and a Q-tip and told them to create. After they dried I opted to laminate them so I didn’t have to worry about later messes, cause it is hard to get all the loose powder off. Make sure you wipe your table even if it looks like nothing got on it….Mine looked totally clean, but thankfully I wiped it anyway cause the whole cloth was red after wiping!
Make Your Name with Cheerios
Write your child’s name with glue and have them spell it out with Cheerios!
All you need is a cardboard box & clothespins.
Write the alphabet on clothespins and around the area of the box and have your child match the letter on the clothespin to the letter on the box.
Write your Name with a Golf Tee Name
Use black construction paper and write the child’s name on it with a white crayon. Place a towel underneath and have them trace their name by poking holes through the paper with a golf tee. You can hang this on a window and the sunlight will shine through their name.
Playing with Playdoh
Playing with playdoh really works those fine motor muscles. They squeeze, roll and press their way into having stronger muscles in no time. Get a set of Playdoh and an assortment of Playdoh tools and they will play for hours.
Pom Pom 1 to 1 Activity
With this one you can use whatever you have on hand, ice cube trays, muffin tins, whatever is available at your house. Just have them put 1 pom pom in each portion of the container. For added difficulty have them use tweezers or tongs to really get those muscles working.
Puzzles, puzzles and more puzzles! These foam puzzles work great for a good fine motor work out, but any puzzle will do.