With the rise in technology use with our preschoolers, a lot of educators are noting the lack of fine motor skills coming into the classroom. It seems only the swiping finger is strong. So, many teachers are looking for new and fun fine motor activities to get those fine motor muscles working this winter so that students can be successful when working on writing and large cutting tasks.
I too have seen this downward trend of fine motor skill competency – which is leading me to making more fine motor efforts in my classroom.
So, I’d love to share with you 5 Winter Fine Motor Activities that are student and teacher approved!
1. Hole Punching – a student favorite
Grab a ‘reduced effort’ hole punch (you can find the one I ordered here) and some paper and let those kiddos get punchin’! Simple hole-punching is a great fine motor activity by itself, but you can also add some hand-eye coordination to the activity by giving students a ‘target’ (like a sticker or clipart) to punch. For winter, we are hole punching some mittens and other fun winter themed shapes!
2. Hole poking – not to be confused with hole punching
For this activity you will need some cardboard pieces (hello cut-up Amazon boxes!), paper and golf tees. Place the cardboard under the paper and use the golf tee to punch holes. Same as with the hole punching, you could do this activity with plain paper or you can add dots or chart stickers to encourage focused fine motor work.
3. Paths – like a maze without the frustration
Paths are simple, but lots of fun. They feel like a fun maze without the whole getting lost and finding a different way part. The goal is for children to stay on the path and get from the starting point to the end point. We use dry erase markers on ours and I provide a small face scrubber pad (from the Dollar Tree) as an eraser.
4. Shape Cutting – in a simple way
Cutting out shapes isn’t an easy task, so it’s important that we scaffold this activity as much as possible. To make shape cutting a little easier (and more engaging) place a clipart image or a fun winter sticker inside the middle of the shape. Make sure the shape lines to cut on are thick. Cut the paper that they will be holding to cut out the shape into a smaller rectangle (ours are around 4×6). Making the paper too big creates a problem with the paper folding over while trying to cut and making the paper too small leaves less room for the fingers to support the paper. Also, try creating a smaller path/line to show children how to get from the edge of the paper to the shape in the middle of the paper.
5. Bead Work – small beads = serious fine motor work
Beads aren’t just for bracelets anymore! Handling and manipulating beads makes for some serious fine motor practice. Create a ‘mat’ with places for students to add beads to complete the picture. Check out the picture below – orange and blue beads are used to fill the while circles – a task that takes careful fine motor planning!
Looking for the printables in the photos? You can find the Winter Fine Motor Tasks here!
Tell me.. are you seeing the lack of fine motor skills in your classroom too?