17 Activities to Build Fine Motor Skills in Preschoolers
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.
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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
*Play-doh– 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.
*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!
*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.
*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.
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*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.
*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.
*Tweezers— Use child tweezers to pick up any small item. Items such as pom-poms, cotton balls, and even cereal.
*Tracing—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.
*Clothespins—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.
*Cutting- 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.
*Coloring– 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.
*Turkey Baster and Pom Poms- Have your child squeeze the Turkey Baster to move the Pom Poms across the table.
*Rubber Band can- Take rubber bands and put them around a can and take them off.
*Stickers– 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.
*Puzzles– 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.
Tell me some fine motor activities you do at home.