Activities for Developing Fine Motor Coordination
These are some activities to strengthen small hand muscles. Please keep these activities fun and integrate them into your daily routine.
- Pick up small objects such as coins, beans, marbles, seeds, buttons, nuts and bolts. Sort them into containers of varying sizes.
- Pick up objects (blocks, cotton balls, pom-poms, crumpled balls of paper, counters, etc.) using various-sized tongs, tweezers or clothesline hooks.
- Learn to fingerspell the ABC’s using American Sign Language.
- Stack objects (coins, cards, checkers, blocks, etc.).
- Screw and unscrew objects such as nuts and bolts, caps from jars, etc.
- String beads onto a shoelace.
- Play with Lite Brite toy.
- Cut straight and curved lines/shapes drawn on paper, cloth, etc., with scissors.
- Play the piano; do fingerplays.
- Type or keyboard.
- Crumple paper into a small ball and then flick it with the finger (play “soccer” with the paper ball).
- Shuffle cards, deal cards one by one, turn cards over.
- Roll a pencil between thumb and fingers without dropping it.
- Stick small objects into playdough or silly putty for him or her to pull out.
- Wind thread on a spool evenly.
- Put rubber bands around various-sized containers and objects.
- Move spoonfuls of small objects from one bowl to another.
- Do up buttons, zippers, hooks, etc.
- Tie shoelaces.
- Manually sharpen pencils.
- Put keys into locks to open doors.
- Put paper clips onto paper.
- Place clothespins on the edge of a box or container or on a line.
- Use Wikki Stix to form shapes, letters, numbers, and other designs.
- Color using the flat side of a crayon. Put paper over leaves, stencils, and other objects so that the child gets sensory feedback as he colors.
- Use sprayer bottles filled with water and sponges to have the child “clean” a desk or table, then squeeze the excess water into a dishpan. This is a great pre-scissor skill activity.
- Lace various-sized beads. Using both hands develops bilateral integration.
- Play with dough using words like poke, squeeze, pound, press, and knead.
- Use puzzles with pegs.
- Wave using the “pincer” grasp (two fingers and a thumb).
From Parents as Partners in Kindergarten and Early Literacy: Multiplying our Teaching Effectiveness, by Nellie Edge ©2007