Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Activities to Develop Fine Motor Skills

Young children learn through Sensory/Motor Integration which means exploring and discovering using their five senses and movement. They enjoy manipulating interesting objects, textures and materials. Encouragement and praise will also lengthen time children spend on activities.This Fine Motor Skills video was generously offered to me by Katie from Mommy with Selective Memory.

Activities to Develop Fine Motor Skills:
  • Pouring sand, water, salt, sugar, rice, or beans using bowls, funnels, spoons, cups, tubes, rolls, colander.
  • Sorting small objects with interesting textures like cotton balls, pom poms, pastas, Legos, dominoes and shells, placing them into egg cartons or bowls.
  • Pushing objects through a slot like pennies or buttons into a Piggy Bank or container with a slit in lid; pushing pegs into a board like golf tees into Styrofoam.
  • Picking up marbles, pennies, or buttons and putting them in a jar . For variety and exercise, have child stand up and toss small objects into a box or sack.
  • Building with blocks, Lincoln logs, Legos.
  • Lacing with lacing cards – poking string through holes and pushing and pulling.
  • Grasping wooden puzzles pieces and maneuvering into correct position.
  • Picking stickers off page and successfully placing onto paper.
  • Playing with Playdough and clay:  Pulling, pressing, stretching, rolling, pounding, squeezing, twisting, pinching.
  • Squeezing glue bottles, water guns, sponges, large plastic tweezers.
  • Beading necklaces made with pinwheel or tubular pasta or use large beads.
  • Pushing pipe cleaners into holes in colanders or weave through baking cooling racks.
  • Marking with fat pencils, crayons, markers, and sidewalk chalk.
  • Cutting with child safety scissors. Opening and closing the scissors, as well as cutting, increases hand strength.
  •  Arranging rocks, shells, leaves, sticks, cards, M&Ms, pasta, or whatever interests a child. Children enjoy sorting, then making a collection which can be labeled for a reading/writing connection. 
    Children will sort objects with no encouragement because they are natural pattern seekers - trying to make sense of their ever expanding world. Sorting and Patterning give children a sense of stability and consistency as well as helps them develop reading, math and science skills.
To view the other Fine Motor Skills Videos, click 
For a glimpse into Kindergarten see my book. Would you like inexpensive ideas, activities, and games to teach your child through play? Mommy with Selective Memory and I can help save your sanity, one project at a time, with The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn. Both have been number 1 bestsellers.    


  1. This is a wonderful list of ideas you've shared. I can see several I need to do with my 2 year old.


  2. I'm going to be working on these over the summer! Thanks for all the ideas!

  3. We do so many of these...what a great list! People focus so much on academics, but I love exploring sensory and fine motor activities with my kids!

  4. Awesome list! I too do more of this than I realize with my boys. Thanks for the affirmation and encouragement. I blogged about this this week too. :) Visiting from toys in the dryer

  5. So many wonderful ideas! I love how you detailed, research-supported explanation of why these types of activities are good for young children's learning. I love research on brain development, theories on child development and all that good stuff :) Sometimes I think we get caught up though on doing fun activities and forget the real reason why, so this was a nice reminder. Thanks for linking up to Thinky Linky Thursday!
    Lori @ Cachey Mama’s Classroom

  6. Wonderful ideas. Thanks for sharing and linking up with BTT!

  7. Hi Susan! I love this list of ideas! Thanks for stopping by Preschool Powol Packets! I love your blog--I'm following you on GFC and Pinterest! Also, I saw that you live near Dallas--I'm in Houston! (I love meeting other bloggers who are local--sort of!) I'll "see" you around!

  8. Tag…You're It! Just a little fun way of saying …. "I love your blog" and want to share! Come see how to play this fun blog hopping game of tag!
    Frogs in First

  9. What wonderful ideas. I will be trying some for sure!

  10. These are such great ideas!! We're so glad you linked up to "Strut Your Stuff Saturday" We loved having you! Please come back next Saturday and share more of your great ideas! -The Sisters

  11. What fantastic ideas! I have been meaning to get over to your site since you recently visited mine, and have finally made it! I am so glad I did as I am loving the ideas shared here. I am now following along :))

  12. Great ideas! Thank you so much for the inspiration :)


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