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11 of our Favorite Fine Motor Activities

If there is one thing I love to sneak into our day – it’s fine motor skills.  I’ve tried lots of different fine motor activities and some are a big hit with the kids and some just aren’t.  

So, I wanted to share with you some of the fine motor activities that the kids loved! Because anything that keeps them excited, engaged and practicing those fine motor skills is a win in my book!

11 of our Favorite Fine Motor Activities

1. Eye Dropper Painting

Water down some washable paint and use eye droppers, pipettes or medicine droppers to paint with.

2. Bulb Syringe Race

Grab a clean/new bulb syringe and some puff balls. Encourage children to use the bulb syringe to blow the puff balls off the table. The bigger the puff ball, the more air from the bulb syringe will be needed (so, starting with small puff balls would be best).

3. Toothpick Structures

Grab some toothpicks and marshmallows to create some unique structures. This activity not only works fine motor skills, but also encourages exploration of how to build a structure. Instead of marshmallows, you can also try apples (cubed), jelly beans, gum drops, Styrofoam packing peanuts or small balls of playdough.  NOTE: This activity may not be appropriate for children that put things in their mouths, as toothpicks can be sharp. 

4. Toothbrush Cleaning

Add some water, a new toothbrush and some small animals to a tub. Encourage children to clean the animals using the toothbrush. This activity encourages children to manipulate the toy and the toothbrush in their fingers while completing the task.

5. Hole Punching

Hole punching is a great way to build hand strength! We use a ‘reduced effort’ hole punch to start with, so that the activity doesn’t get too frustrating! You can encourage children to hole punch just a piece of paper or you can create ‘targets’ for children to hole punch – like the snowglobes in the picture below (this resource is part of the Winter Fine Motor Tub pack).

6. ‘Feed Me’ Tennis Ball

Grab a tennis ball, carefully make a slit about half way around the ball to create a mouth. Glue on googly eyes and you have a ‘Feed Me Monster!’. Supply children with items to feed the monster, like small erasers, beans, beads or coins. Children have to squeeze the sides of the monster to get his mouth to open in order to feed him.

7. Toy Rescue with Squirt Bottles

Freeze some toys inside a small tub of water. Challenge children to get the toys out of the ice. Fill a squirt bottle with warm water and allow children to squirt the water on the ice to get it to melt.

8. Threading Straw Pieces

Cut a straw into 1 to 1.5 inch pieces. Provide children with pipe cleaners or string. Students work to create a bracelet, necklace, ornament (or anything else they would like) by threading the straw pieces onto the pipe cleaners or string (pipe cleaners are easier for little fingers).

9. Cutting Beaded Necklaces

You know those Mardi Gras/party necklaces that have plastic beads and are fairly inexpensive? Those necklaces make for a great cutting activity! Children work to cut the beads apart on the string between each bead. This activity takes some hand strength!

10. Play Dough Cards

Do we love free and open play dough play? Yes! But, I also love implementing play dough cards because it encourages children to roll and manipulate the dough for purpose. These play dough cards are from the Winter Fine Motor Task Cards Pack.

11. Animal Scrubbing

Grab some dish cleaning brushes (I found these cute farm animal ones at Dollar Tree a long time ago) and add some water and soap to a tub. Roll some toy animals around in some mud (I just mixed some dirt and water and dirtied up the animals).  Challenge children to clean up the dirty animals using the cleaning brushes.

I hope you find these fine motor activities helpful and can take them back to your classroom and put them to good use!

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