Fine Motor Activities

  • Activities for Developing Fine Motor Coordination

    Dear Parents:
    These are some activities to strengthen small hand muscles.  Please keep these activities fun and integrate them into your daily routine.

    • Pick up small objects such as coins, beans, marbles, seeds, buttons, nuts and bolts.  Sort them into containers of varying sizes.
    • Pick up objects (blocks, cotton balls, pom-poms, crumpled balls of paper, counters, etc.) using various-sized tongs, tweezers or clothesline hooks.
    • Learn to fingerspell the ABC’s using American Sign Language.
    • Stack objects (coins, cards, checkers, blocks, etc.).
    • Screw and unscrew objects such as nuts and bolts, caps from jars, etc.
    • String beads onto a shoelace.
    • Play with Lite Brite toy.
    • Cut straight and curved lines/shapes drawn on paper, cloth, etc., with scissors.
    • Play the piano; do fingerplays.
    • Type or keyboard.
    • Crumple paper into a small ball and then flick it with the finger (play “soccer” with the paper ball).
    • Shuffle cards, deal cards one by one, turn cards over.
    • Roll a pencil between thumb and fingers without dropping it.
    • Stick small objects into playdough or silly putty for him or her to pull out.
    • Wind thread on a spool evenly.
    • Put rubber bands around various-sized containers and objects.
    • Move spoonfuls of small objects from one bowl to another.
    • Do up buttons, zippers, hooks, etc.
    • Tie shoelaces.
    • Manually sharpen pencils.
    • Put keys into locks to open doors.
    • Put paper clips onto paper.
    • Place clothespins on the edge of a box or container or on a line.
    • Use Wikki Stix to form shapes, letters, numbers, and other designs.
    • Color using the flat side of a crayon. Put paper over leaves, stencils, and other objects so that the child gets sensory feedback as he colors.
    • Use sprayer bottles filled with water and sponges to have the child “clean” a desk or table, then squeeze the excess water into a dishpan.  This is a great pre-scissor skill activity.
    • Lace various-sized beads. Using both hands develops bilateral integration.
    • Play with dough using words like poke, squeeze, pound, press, and knead.
    • Use puzzles with pegs.
    • Wave using the “pincer” grasp (two fingers and a thumb).

    From Parents as Partners in Kindergarten and Early Literacy: Multiplying our Teaching Effectiveness, by Nellie Edge ©2007