So you know fine motor activities are important for preschoolers. Keep reading to learn the best fine motor activities.
Why Do Preschoolers Need Fine Motor Activities?
There is a wide range of everyday activities that require tiny hand and wrist muscles.
Tying shoes, writing, zipping a zipper, gripping a cup, the list goes on and on of activities that require fine motor skills.
Preschoolers strengthen these small muscles by doing fine motor activities.
Working the small hand and wrist muscles through fun activities not only helps build strong muscles, but fine motor activities also help the brain learn to coordinate movements.
So what can you do to help your preschooler with fine motor skills? Read to discover fun, cheap, and easy fine motor activities.
This article may contain affiliate links to products that may help you when homeschooling preschool.
The Best Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers
Grab a box of cereal that has a hole in the center. Have your preschooler thread the cereal on a chenille stem. Bending one end of the chenille stem will serve as a “block” to prevent the cereal from falling off.
Once the stem is full, twist the ends to another chenille stem, making it large enough to fit around your preschooler’s neck. Opt to make a bracelet by twisting the ends together (and not attaching a second stem).
This fine motor activity can be done with beads and/or string, but the cereal is less of a choking risk, and the chenille stem is structured enough to limit frustration.
What kid doesn’t love stickers? Let your little one peel the stickers off the sheet and put them on a piece of paper.
You can make this fine motor activity as simple or complex as you would like.
To make it more complex, write letters on garage sale stickers and a piece of paper. Have your little one match the letter from the sticker to the letter on the paper.
Clothes Pin and Pom Pom Matching
Practice pinching a clothespin together and matching pom poms with this next fine motor activities pick.
Use colored clothes pins (or color a dot that matches the colors of the pom poms on the end of wooden clothes pins) and pom poms to play a matching game.
The preschooler matches the color on the clothespin with a pompom. She squeezes the clothespin to put the pom pom inside the clothespin’s “mouth”.
Building with Blocks
Building takes fine motor skills, patience, and problem-solving. Planning ahead, stacking, and dealing with the frustration of a tower falling are also practiced in this fine motor activity.
Allow your little one to build however she wants. Even putting the blocks in a straight line is practicing many different skills, including fine motor skills.
Fine Motor Skills Man
Recycle an old toilet paper tube by making a fine motor skills man (or woman).
Start by coloring the top thirds of the tube. Next, draw a face on the fine motor skills man.
Then, take scissors and cut slits down to the bottom of the colored section to make hair.
Fluff out the hair and decorate (maybe add a bow).
Challenge your little one to transfer ice from one bowl to another using a spoon.
The item being transferred can change, as can the tool used to transfer.
Bring in plastic animals and have them ride on toy trucks to the next bucket.
Use tongs to move cooked spaghetti.
The possibilities are endless.
Clay or Play Dough
You’ve probably already thought of this one, but a best fine motor activities list can’t be complete without clay and play dough.
There are many different ways to use play dough and clay, but one of the best is allowing your little one to choose to make whatever she wants.
A sense of pride and accomplishment will come when she brings to life what she was dreaming up.
Q Tip painting, finger painting, or painting with a paintbrush are all great fine motor activities.
All three types of painting are beneficial to developing fine motor skills and your little one’s creativity.
If you are looking for a mess-free painting idea, check out this post.
Dump out the toy bin and collect the little toys that collect at the bottom. Using painters or masking tape, tape down the toys to a table, container lid, or a piece of cardboard.
Have your little ones peel off the tape to rescue the toys.
You can choose to have her save the tape to do the activity again, or work more on her fine motor skills and to make a tape ball.
Tissue Paper Crafts
There are many different tissue paper crafts you can do. Most require square pieces of tissue paper. Instead of you cutting the paper, allow your little one to cut the squares.
She will feel like she is helping, and your hand won’t hurt from cramming it into children’s scissors.
For crafts with a more abstract look, she can tear the tissue paper, too.
Looking for ideas that use tissue paper squares?
Punch some holes in a piece of cardstock or cardboard. Let your little one lace yarn through the holes. Putting tape on the end of the yarn will make it easier for your preschooler to lace with.
Some children may lace the holes in order; others may make more of a spider web with the yarn. Both are great fine motor activities.
You can cut the cardboard/cardstock into a shape before punching the holes to make it more inviting.
Ice Cube Tray Sort
Many different items like pom poms, buttons, or cereal can all be sorted into an ice cube tray (or egg carton).
Start with a pile of the item and a pair of tweezers. Have your little one transfer the item from the pile to one of the spots in the ice cube tray.
Take it a step further and label the spots on an egg carton with colors or numbers. Have your preschooler fill the egg carton with the correct color or number of items.
Using a hole punch, make holes in a toilet paper tube. Allow your little one to stick chenille stems (pipe cleaners) through one hole and out the other side.
No toilet paper tube? Grab a colander and have your preschooler stick the chenille stems through its holes.
Play Dough Animal
Little ones make the animal’s body out of play dough, add feathers (for a bird), toothpicks (for a hedgehog), or use scissors to cut little chunks of the play dough to make textured fur.
Rubber Band Ball
Try to cover a ball with rubber bands. A spiked ball works better to hold the rubber bands in place.
Top Preschool Fine Motor Activities
There are many great reasons to do fine motor activities with your preschooler. Building her confidence and independence by having strong fine motor skills are great reasons to try out some of these activities.