Playing with a purpose is especially important when it comes to developing fine motor skills. For preschoolers, consistent integration of this type of play can increase dexterity development, as well as hand-eye coordination. It’s easy to add fine motor activities into your child’s day using a few craft store and household items. Plus, they will love it!
Adapted from: Busy Toddler
This activity is perfect for those long car rides! Simply write out several sight words, place them into a binder, hand them some dot stickers, and let them go to town! This will improve their hand-eye coordination, as they spell out each word with precision.
Paper Towel Roll
What could be more fun than a matching game that uses recyclable materials!? I wrote an upper case letter on each dot sticker and the corresponding letters around the paper towel roll. My preschooler worker feverishly to locate each letter and place the matching dot on top.
Megablok PomPom Sorting
Adapted from: Happy Toddler Playtime
My preschooler used her toy tongs to sort the pompoms by color. Then she placed each color within its corresponding megablok. As the use of tongs becomes easier, you can move to using a clothes pin. A clothes pin will require more strength and dexterity within the hands and fingers.
Hole Punch Activity
I love that the most basic activity, such as hole punching paper, can be both entertaining and a key source in strengthening those hand muscles. This is a perfect activity for those “I’m bored” or “What are we going to do now?” moments.
Adapted from: Royal, Baloo, and Logi-Bear Too!
My daughter loves play-dough! She can spend hours manipulating it into whatever her imagination dreams up. What I love about play-dough is that it’s working those fine motor skills. With every manipulation, the muscles in her hands and fingers are growing stronger. The ability to use play-dough as an educational tool is a bonus!
I kept it quick and simple by creating my own shape mat with a marker and paper. As their fine motor skills develop and they begin to master the basic shapes, you can move on to more geometric shapes.
Toilet Paper Roll
For this activity I used a hole punch to make two set of holes all the way around each end of the toilet paper roll. Then she threaded the pipe cleaner through one hole and out the other. My daughter coined this activity “Spider Threading,” because when she finished she thought it looked like a spider.
The 6 activities I have listed here will help to develop a child’s fine motor skills with ease. What activities do you have your child do to build his/her hand strength and dexterity?