17 Activities to Build Fine Motor Skills in Preschoolers

Ways to build Fine Motor Skills in Preschoolers at home

Fine motor skills are small movements that use the small muscles of the fingers, toes, wrists, lips, and tongue. Even if your child isn’t showing signs of delays with fine motor activities by incorporating them into your child’s day will only benefit them.  When children have a delay in the development of their fine motor muscles they have difficulty manipulating small objects, holding a pencil, and performing certain tasks.


Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do to help your child build their fine motor skills. The best things to use are things that you already have in your home. When building up those hand muscles you want to have fun in the process.  I have done all these activities both working with my students or with my own children.  Here is a list of some activities you could do with minimal supplies.  Most of these supplies can be found at dollar stores. Remember to think outside of the box and use anything you have.



Small puzzles pieces to help build fine motor skills
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Now that your child is in preschool you really want to work and build up their fine motor skills.  With Preschool comes writing, tracing and cutting, all things we can practice at home.  Here are some activities to help build up those hand muscles. Also, check out the list of fine motor activities for toddlers.



Also, be sure to check out Activities to Build Fine Motor skills for Toddlers

You would also like this list of additional fine motor activities.  Get them here.


Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers



Colorful play dough is a way to build fine motor skills



Play-doh and all the fun shapes and pieces are great for tiny hands.  You can build, shape and create anything.  Be creative. Go crazy.  I know this can get messy so make it an outdoor activity.




Two boys having a car race on painters tape is a fun way to build fine motor skills


Car zig-zag racing

Draw zigzag lines on large paper and use small cars to drive on the lines.  You can use painters tape on the floor in zigzag lines and do car racing on the floor.  Kids will love this!  It’s easy and fast clean-up too!



Using wikki sticks to spell CAT is an at home way to build fine motor skills

Wikki Stix

These are great to bend and create something or just to bend into a circle.  You can put them on the counter and use your pointer finger to do a maze.



A group of small beads can be used to build fine motor skills


Pipe cleaner and Beads

Get those pipe cleaners back out for your preschooler.  String beads onto the pipe cleaners.  This is a great way for your child to hone those fine motor skills.


“‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’ by Benjamin Franklin” 


Toothpick Cereal

Stick toothpicks in a Styrofoam cup or bowl and give your child a handful of cereal.  Use Fruitloops, Cheerios or Apple Jacks.  Have your child put the cereal on the toothpicks.



Paint, paper and plastic bag to paint in a bag. A clean way to paint and build fine motor skills.                               Child painting with paper inside a plastic bag is a clean way to paint and build fine motor skills.

Q-tip Painting

Instead of using a paintbrush with a large handle give your child q-tips.  If you are worried about paint everywhere you can do paint in a bag.  For this, you need a gallon size Ziploc bag, a piece of paper and some squeezes of paint.  You first put the piece of paper inside the Ziploc bag.  Then, squeeze a few colors of paint onto the paper.  Seal the Ziploc bag.  Now let your child paint.  This is a great way to paint without all the mess.  Your child can use a q-tip or use their fingers.  Once they are done you can take the paper out and let their masterpiece dry.



A boy putting poms poms into a egg carton is a cheap way to build fine motor skills


Use child tweezers to pick up any small item.  Items such as pom-poms, cotton balls, and even cereal.



Have your child trace with their fingers and with writing materials.  Write letters of the alphabet first then write their names for them to trace.


A child sitting on the floor using clothes pins on a bowl is a simple way to build fine motor skills.



Clip clothespins to put all around a paper plate.  Let your child put them on and take them off.  Clothespins also work well on paint samples from the local Home Improvement stores.


Dot Paint

I love dot paint.  You can do so much with it.  Give your child a piece of paper and let them make a creation.  Have your child use dot paint to make letters or trace their name.


Ripping Paper

Sometimes cutting is too hard for children so you can start with ripping the paper.  Give your child old paper or something you were going to throw out and let them rip it up.



Make sure you have child safety scissors.  The scissors make it so they only have to cut a little, not push all the way down.  At first, just have your child cut the paper any way they can.  After they are able to hold the scissors correctly and cut then have them cut on a line, zigzag lines and then cut out shapes.



A jar of crayons and a child coloring is a way to build fine motor skills right at home.



Any form of coloring is good for fine motor development.  Let your child color in books or draw a picture on their own.  You can use, crayons, colored pencils, and markers.



A boy using a turkey baster to move pom poms is a cheap way to build fine motor skills


Turkey Baster and Pom Poms

Have your child squeeze the Turkey Baster to move the Pom Poms across the table.



A child putting rubber bands over a can is an at home way to build fine motor skills


Rubber Band can

Take rubber bands and put them around a can and take them off.



Child using stickers to cover his name is an easy way to build fine motor skills.



You can use stickers to cover their names.  Write their name on a piece of paper (can have them trace it) and have them peel stickers to go over each letter.  This helps build fine motor skills as well as name recognition.



How to Build Fine Motor Skills


Any size, any kind of puzzle is great to build up the hand muscles.  Get a puzzle with your child’s favorite character to encourage them to use it.




Coloring is an excellent way to build fine motor skills and develop writing skills.  I know that in my house we can never have too many crayons.  Even in Elementary School, you need crayons for homework.  I feel that crayons are always breaking or getting lost and you can’t find that yellow crayon you are looking for.  Stock up now on crayons.



Comment below to tell me some fine motor activities you do at home.



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Picture of a puzzles and clothes pins for easy activities to build fine motor skills in preschoolers


Easy Ways to Build Fine Motor Skills in Preschoolers


  1. Karima says:

    I love these activities! I’ve used many of them with my Autistic students.

    1. ExploreKidTalk says:

      Thank you! Yes, I work with Autistic students as well. These activities are great and don’t cost much!

  2. Tikara says:

    I love the idea of tape on the floor and creating little roads for the kids to navigate! Very good activities!

    1. ExploreKidTalk says:

      Thank you. Sometimes the easiest way to build fine motor skills in children is to use what you already have in your home. Toys are wonderful, but kids love to play with simple items that you already have. Have fun with these activities to build fine motor skills in your children.

  3. Ida says:

    These are great tips, thank you for sharing! I’ve been doing Hama pearls with the kids since they were around 2,5, we build a lot of legos and duplos, stacking blocks, etc. I just got my 5 yr old some kid’s chopsticks that we’re now practicing with! My 5 yr old also works with drawing clothes for paperdolls and then cutting them out herself.

    1. ExploreKidTalk says:

      Hello, Ida. I’m so glad you found these tips to build fine motor skills in preschoolers helpful. I love your ideas as well. So many ways to help build fine motor skills at home without spending tons of money.

  4. Sara says:

    These are so many…. A great resource to help developing these fine skills. I didn’t knew all these, and after reading this post, I feel so happy to find the less expensive alternatives to help my child. Thanks so much for sharing this! Sara @ preciouswomb.com

    1. ExploreKidTalk says:

      I’m so happy to hear this list of activities to build fine motor skills in preschoolers was helpful to you. You don’t need to rush out and buy tons of toys to develop fine motor skills. Use the items that you already have in your house.

  5. It is so funny that I stumbled on this today because I was looking for a list like this! My 3 year old is very intellectually gifted, but what he has in that area he is extremely deficient in motor skills. Cannot wait to try these all out!

    Your Story Matters.

    1. ExploreKidTalk says:

      These activities will definitely help your toddler build fine motor skills. Be sure to check out my activities for fine motor and gross motor development as well. All the activities are easy to do at home without spending money.

  6. This article is such a useful resource for some great activities. Fine motor skills are so important for kids to build it helps with a lot with handwriting and other things over the course of their educational journey.

    1. ExploreKidTalk says:

      Fine motor skills are important to build the foundation for writing skills. If a child has weak hand muscles they will have a hard time holding the pencil and writing.

  7. I don’t even know where to begin, I keep coming back to this post because I love it so much! It has helped my three year old son so much with his motor skills, thank you so much!

    Your Story Matters.

    1. ExploreKidTalk says:

      Thank you so much Jessie. Building fine motor skills in children doesn’t have to be difficult. This post allows you to use materials you already have in your home. Be sure to check out the post build-fine-motor-skills in Toddlers. It has more ideas to develop fine motor skills at home.

  8. Melissa says:

    Oh my goodness, so many fun ideas for how to build fine motor skills! I remember doing pipe cleaners and beads when I was little. I’m definitely going to be trying the baster and puffs one. That looks like so much fun! This post was so helpful! Especially now that it’s getting colder and I’m needing more ideas for things to do inside.

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