It has often been said that play is the work of children. When given the freedom to explore the world around them, our little ones are learning much more than it may seem. While there is certainly a time and a place for the use of a preschool curriculum, we, as parents, can help our children develop necessary skills while they are simply having fun.
Fine motor skills are an area that can be easily exercised through play. It is essential to build up strength in those little muscles, because all too soon, they will be consistently writing, drawing, cutting, creating, and conquering their world. There are many ways to encourage the development of these skills by using activities that will keep your preschooler engaged and entertained. Here are some simple suggestions.
10 Fun Activities for Fine Motor Skills Development
Stringing or threading beads is an easy, fun activity, and is great for days when you may need your child to occupy themselves for a bit of independent play.
The next time your child wants to play a game with you, consider pulling out Jenga! While you and your little one are making memories, having to carefully remove and stack the blocks is a wonderful workout for those little finger muscles.
All this activity requires is a whisk and pom-poms, and it can easily be turned into a game used to sharpen other skills as well. You can ask them to sort the pom-poms by color or size, and see how many of each can fit into the whisk, etc.
Remember Jenga? Those blocks can also be used for creative building. It’s the game that keeps on giving!
It doesn’t get much more simple than rubber bands and a cardboard tube. I’ve seen kids play with these two items for much longer than I would have expected. Pro tip: the more variety of rubber band colors, the better the entertainment.
I’ve never met a child who didn’t love playing with water. The mess factor makes it so fun. Simply transferring water from one bowl or container to another with a small scoop is a great fine motor exercise. Want to get extra creative? Add some drops of food coloring to the water.
Puzzles with knobs are an excellent way to practice these skills. Puzzles are also a great excuse to shower praise on your child. The look of pride on their face when they hear, “Great job! You did it!” never gets old.
Singing songs with your child that involve finger or hand motions is another wonderful way to work those muscles. Some great examples can be found here.
Another fun activity would be to take a nature walk with your little one and have them collect different types of leaves. Depending on your child’s age, you could either help them trace the leaves to make a poster, or you could create a puzzle by tracing the leaves and having them find which leaf goes with each outline.
Sensory bins are great for young children. The best part is there are no rules! You can use anything! Incorporating elements from nature, such as pine cones, acorns, and seeds, along with plastic, wooden, or fuzzy toys provide a unique texture experience that is fun and builds fine motor skills.
5 Fun Printable Fine Motor Skills Activities
Trace the shapes – This activity can either be done with a pencil or scissors.
Paper Doll cutout – Using scissors is an excellent way to work those fingers, and who doesn’t love paper dolls?
Line tracing – Show your child how to grip a pencil, and let them get those bees back home!
Hop the Pond – Using dot paints or a Q-tip dipped in paint, your little one can follow the trail to help the frog find its way across the pond.
Matching game – Use a pencil to find and match the pictures.
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