Fine motor skills refers to the movement of the small muscles of the hands, wrists, fingers. Fine motor coordination involves the coordination and controlled movements of the hands; movement that is required to perform tasks such as dressing, self-care, cutting, pasting, coloring and writing. Having poor fine motor skills impacts children’s ability to perform many of the tasks required for self-care and in the classroom. Below are a few activities to strengthen fine motor skills.
- Provide small items for small hands. Play pegboard games, knead dough or putty (hide items like coins in putty and have your child find the items), string popcorn, beads, pasta. Lace cards, finger paint on paper, play with toys like Lego, tinker toys, pop beads, etc.
- Clothespin fun. Manipulating clothespins or tongs promotes the same grasp required for use of tools such as forks, pencils, and paintbrushes. There is so much one can do with clothespins. Make a color wheel with numbers or letters, and label the clothespin. Then have your child match the letters or numbers by clipping clothespin to the wheel.
- Bubble wrap pop. Popping bubble wrap improves pincer grasp. Play a game with number and color dice. Toss the dice and pop the corresponding color or number of bubbles. Jumping and popping with feet is also a lot of fun! You can also paint bubble wrap and use it as a stamp to make colorful patterns on paper.
- Kitchen baster game. Squeeze a kitchen baster to move a cotton ball across the room. Have cotton ball race on the table. This action of squeezing promotes hand strength. See what other lightweight object your child can push across the table by squeezing the baster.
- Playing with tweezers. Have your child use a pair of tweezers to sort small items (beads, pompoms, beans, etc.) into an egg carton.
- Water bottle squirt. Let your child squirt a water bottle outdoors or in the bathtub. You can add color and have them squirt it onto paper to make different color designs.
There are many ways to have fun with these activities. These are just a few, so feel free to be creative. If the activity is fun and playful, you will engage your child for longer. Follow me on Pinterest for a collection of many more ideas for fine motor activities for children.
What are some of your favorite fine motor activities?