4 Fun Fine Motor Activities for Children
If you teach Kindergarten, Pre-K or a younger age group, then I am willing to bet, you know how important having fine motor strength is for children. There are many advanced skills we expect children to do that fine motor strength is linked to. We take for granted what is necessary for holding a pencil, for making controlled marks, for writing letters and numbers and even just grasping small items but children must have fine motor strength to do each of these tasks. So before we expect children to do any of these things, we should give them lots of fine motor practice in fun ways. Here are few of my favorites!
1. Straw Art
Straw Art is simple and inexpensive and is good for fine motor practice and creativity.
Straw Art is taking colorful, cut straws and gluing them onto construction to make letters numbers, shapes or whatever the child chooses! Depending on the age of your students children can cut their own straws and use cotton swabs to add their own glue.
2. Punch and Cut
Allowing children to use single hole punchers are great practice for fine motor development. I used them with various lessons and found that children enjoy using them more than I anticipated. They would use them freely in the art center but I had them practice with some teacher directed activities as well. One of my initial teacher led hole punch activities was called Punch and Cut. The first Punch and Cut activity was with shapes. (See Below) I taught my students that on Punch and Cut activities we are supposed to cut on the dotted lines and hole “punch” the shapes (or whatever item I chose).
3. Paper Plate Punch and Lace
Once children understand how to use the hole punch I taught them how to do a Paper Plate Punch and Lace. To do this you only need a paper plate, a hole punch, yarn and tape to wrap the yarn at the ends. First I allowed my children to decorate their plates, then I had them punch several holes around the edges of their plate. You can also have them fold the plates and punch holes towards the middle of the plate. Next the children would get a piece of yarn, wrap the ends with tape and start threading the yarn through the holes in their plate. If you are not brave enough to let your students decide on their own yarn, you can also have pre-cut yarn with tape already available. Sometimes my students would use different pieces of yarn and other times they would lace the entire plate with one long piece. I didn’t want to inhibit their creativity, so I let them decide and just monitored them. They loved this activity and would work on it for at least 15 minutes at a time! One of their favorite parts was attempting to create a bow at the end. 🎀
4. Bean Sort
Bean Sort is great for fine motor AND early math sorting skills. (You know I love math!) All you’ll need is a bag of mixed beans or you can buy two to three bags and mix them together yourself. Provide children with tweezers -or they can use their fingers – to pick out the different beans and sort them by color or size. This Bean Sort actually evolved into a small group game. I knew they liked playing team games so I split the small group into two teams and they had to race to see who sorted the beans first!
I’m sure these simple, inexpensive, yet fun ways to practice fine motor skills will be a hit with your students! Let me know how you like them!