8 Activities For Improving Fine Motor Skills

For three years now, I’ve not posted on things that I assume everyone else would assume to be boring.

Then a few days ago I was speaking to a mother about fine motor skills and how her daughter’s were under developed. We spoke for a while about what fine motor skills were and what you can do to encourage their development.

We do loads of little activities specifically aimed at fine motor skill development, while having fun, so I thought I’d share a few from the last 12 or so months with you.

If you don’t know what fine motor skills are, they are the small movements that occur in the hands, wrists, fingers, feet, toes, lips and tongue. They are the smaller actions that occur such as picking up objects between the thumb and finger, using a pencil to write carefully, holding a fork and using it to eat, and other small muscle tasks that we all do every day.

Activities that use, promote and enhance them involve picking, up, putting in and pouring.

Here are a few:

Ice cream sticks in a narrow bottle neck. My 14 month old loves this one.

Picking up small objects, like stones. Arrange from large to small or dark to light. (Keep an eye on smaller children so they don’t swallow them. )

Pour pompoms from cup to cup.

Pick them up and sort them by colour or size.

Stickers are perfect for fine motor skills. Picking the sticky backing from the foam bit.

Coloured rice. It’s all fun, but the clean up is where the pincer grip really comes into its own.

Threading is great. It requires concentration, and has the reward of ‘jewelery’ at the end.

Stacking. That’s great fun, especially in the knocking over. But again, balance, concentration – excellent development. 

What do you for fine motor skill development? 

Learning Points:

Busy Bags: Threading And Lacing

This is part four in a series on busy bags. For more information on what busy bags are, and for some ideas on bought contents for easy busy bags and more handmade ideas, read past posts in the series

Threading and lacing are fantastic activities for little people. The good thing about doing these home made is that you can make as many shapes as your heart desires, and your options are limitless. I just worked on basic shapes, but you can cut out the characters on cereal boxes, or use one of the free printables online too.

Your toddler can thread the holes around the outside, and as they become more confident, you can get them to skip holes or go criss-cross in patterns. We used pretty gold string, but you may find it easier to use a shoe lace that has the aglet (plastic bit) attached.

You will need:

  • Card – either basic shapes, cut outs from grocery boxes or downloaded printables
  • String – a shoelace would be good, but we used pretty gold string
  • Hole Punch – for the holes, obviously

How to Make It:

Cut out your shapes
Punch holes all the way around the outside
Tie a piece of string to one hole, then trace the outline of the shape with the string, then double it and cut it
Place it in a busy bag, ready for little fingers to thread

Check back next week for more Busy Bag ideas. You will need stickers with at least two matching pictures and matching cards.

 

 

 

 

Busy Bags: Colour Matching With Pegs

Part three in a series on busy bags, this post brings you the first of our hand made busy bags. For more information on what busy bags are, and for some ideas on bought contents for easy busy bags, read past posts in the series. 

I love this peg game. It is so simple, and Ameli loves it too. It’s also great for changeability – it starts off as one game, and can go on to others later on.

To start off with, I’ve written the name of the colour in the colour, and coloured the tip of the peg in the same colour. You can use the other side of the peg to write the colours all in one neutral colour, like black. That way you can teach colours and word recognition initially, and later on can use it for learning the letters when learning to read too. A game with longevity. Bonus.

This game as is teaches problem solving skills, colours and fine motor skills get a workout too.

You will need:

  • Pegsmini pegs (US link) are great but normal ones are fine too. 
  • Paper – the back of a cereal carton will suffice.
  • Colouring pens – whatever you fancy

How to make it: 

Cut a strip of paper in a rectangle and colour the squares in equal sizes,  then use the same colour on the tip of the peg on one side and write the name of the colour on the other end.

Flip the peg around and write the name on the other side, using a neutral colour, like black.

I like to keep the pegs in the right place when the ‘game’ is put away, so that  so that it is a ‘finished’ game whenever we take it down. That way I can be sure all the bits are there, and Ameli gets to refresh her memory about what goes where before starting.

Check back next week for another busy bag. To make it, you’ll need card, a hole punch and some string.