In a previous article, we talked about the different motor skills your child should have, and at what age they should start exercising them. But if you’re looking for some extra activities you can do with your child to help boost their fine motor skills (especially for the kiddos will be starting schools soon!), then you’ve come to the right place. The best part about our list? The activities are easy to do, and most of the materials you’ll need you can find around the house. Go on and check it out!
P.S. – If you’re looking for toys to help promote motor skills, we’ve got this list for you too!
1. Play with some play dough
There are so many things you can do with play dough. Even if it’s just squeezing, pushing, or rolling it into a ball, your child’s hand muscles will be exercised. Plus, it’s another way to let them create and express themselves.
2. Make some jewelry using uncooked noodles
Use raw elbow macaroni, penne, or any type of raw noodle with holes in them. Have your child string them on yarn, nylon, or even a shoelace to make a noodle necklace or bracelet. You can even paint the noodles beforehand to give each piece a special design.
3. Use stickers
Peeling stickers off is another way to enhance your child’s fine motor skills. You can buy him or her a book with stickers, or a special sticker book they can stick their favorite stickers on. You can even buy sticker paper and print your own designs on them!
4. Hang clothespins on a line
Get a bunch of clothespins, a line, and have your child press the ends of the clothespins to put them on the line. This helps their small fingers learn how to control pressure. Make this a fun activity by hanging other objects such as clothes, stuffed animals, and even paper with drawings on them!
5. Finger paint
Ahhh, children and paint is such a classic pairing. Make sure to clear a space before you start because things might get a bit (or a lot!) messy. You can ask your child to paint a particular picture, or let his or her imagination run wild.
6. Use kitchen tongs
Here’s an activity your child can help you with in the kitchen! Grab a basket of bread (ideally something round like dinner rolls, muffins, or pan de sal) and give your child kitchen tongs. Ask him or her to transfer the bread from the basket to their plate. You can also do this with ice too.
7. Do a puzzle
Puzzles are great not just for helping fine motor skills but also for your child’s cognitive skills. Learning to put segmented pieces together as a whole helps him or her solve problems, build their memory, and recognize different shapes. Plus, it also helps them learn patience.
8. Play with building blocks
Playing with building blocks is a great activity to help your child control his or her hand movements. You can create towers, buildings, houses, people, and so much more. If you don’t have building blocks, try buying your child a simple LEGO set to start out with. Another thing you can play is Jenga!
9. Stack plastic cups
Grab some extra plastic cups from your kitchen and have a stacking contest with your child. You can make start out with a small pyramid, and once your child has mastered that, add more cups to make it bigger. Plastic cups are usually light, and require a light touch and lots of control when being stacked.
10. Do connect the dots
There are lots of available and free Connect the Dot printables you can find online. Have your child pick his or her favorite one, print it, and help them do the activity sheet. For starters, have them use a crayon or a thick marker. For more advanced kids, you can have them use a pencil or pen.
11. Use a sponge
One of the many movements that help your child’s fine motor skills is squeezing. Have your child practice this by giving him or her a sponge. Provide a bowl of water they can put the sponge in, and another empty bowl where they can squeeze the water out. You can also let them give you a hand while washing the dishes or wiping the counters.
12. Read books
Does reading books really help your child’s fine motor skills? Well, it’s not the actually reading that helps, it’s the page turning. While reading a story to your child, let him or her turn the pages. You can start out with books with thick pages, and slowly transition to ones with thinner pages.