Working on fine motor skills is one of the most important things kids will do during their time in preschool. These activities will work on their hand-eye coordination, improve their scissor skills, and help to develop their hand muscles. These essential skills are fundamental during early childhood development stages while their bodies and habits are still forming. Have a look at these fun hands-on activities for fine motor development in the classroom setting or at home.
1. Make a Snake
A paper plate can be turned into a million things and its circular shape makes it the perfect object to practice cutting on. Let kids color in the back and front of a plate with different colors and have them cut around and around. They will love to see their colorful snakes grow longer and challenge their friends to make the longest one.
Learn more: To Pre-K and Beyond
2. Sprinkle Sorting
This quick and easy fine motor activity only needs a few simple supplies. Let kids roll the die to see how many sprinkles they need to thread onto the colored paper clips. Not only does this strengthen their little hands, but it also works on their counting skills!
Learn more: Up and Away in Pre K
3. Marshmallow Snowflakes
4. Playdoh Creatures
Playdoh is a great fine motor medium and can be turned into just about anything. Use craft supplies like feathers, pasta, and colorful buttons to make monsters out of a ball of clay. Don't forget the all-important googly eyes!
Learn more: Little Learners Education
5. Alphabet Stones
This activity might seem simple but using children's tweezers to pick up smooth stones often proves to be a challenge for little hands. This works on their motor skills by developing muscles and practicing hand-eye coordination as they drop the stones into the corresponding spot in the ice cube tray in this adorable sorting activity.
Learn more: Those Lil' Rascals
6. Playdoh Mats
By laminating some white paper, you can create some homemade playdoh mats in a flash. Draw shapes and lines on the mats and let kids roll out playdoh ropes and lay them along the outline. Dough activities are fun and colorful, and can
Learn more: A Good Day To Play
7. Squid Math
The best motor development activities combine a range of skills like cutting, coloring, and math problems. This fun tentacled template lets kids make ink dots on each leg, counting as they go. Kids then cut out the tentacles to make a fun squid craft.
Learn more: Schooling Shumates
8. Tracing and Cutting
Gather a bunch of traceable everyday objects and let kids create outlines of their own on a blank piece of paper. They can then proceed to color them and cut them out, creating 2D renderings of the 3D objects while improving their scissor skills.
Learn more: Early Education Zone
9. Cookie Cutters
10. Slime Cutting
Cutting activities can be wasteful and messy with motor materials often only be used once. This excellent activity for preschool let kids play over and over again as the slime simply reshapes and drips down to be used again.
Learn more: Home Grown Friends
11. C is for Cactus
12. Apple Seed Picking
Cut an apple into slices, taking care to keep the seeds in place with each slice. Let kids pick the seeds out with tweezers, leaving behind a cute star shape. Use these as stencils for paint or use the seeds to learn about the life cycle of a plant.
Learn more: The OT Toolbox
13. Threading Raindrops
Extend your weather lessons with this fun craft activity that develops finger strength. Thread colorful beads through pipe cleaners and tie them to cloud-shaped paper plate cutouts. It's cutting, threading, drawing, and counting all in one!
Learn more: Taming Little Monsters
Use this fun printable template to create a Dande-lion (pun intended!). Kids get to play outside and pick dandelions and then thread them through a cardboard cutout of a cute lion. This will keep kids busy and active outdoors, the perfect combination.
Learn more: The Aloha Hut
15. Birdseed Sweep
This is another fun eco-friendly activity for preschool that doesn't require many materials. sprinkle birdseed onto a tray and let kids "sweep" the seeds into the shape of a bird. This helps them improve their brush grip and work on finger strength.
Learn more: Little Pine Learners
16. Bumble Bee Beans
This is cute DIY motor skills activity is a fun addition to an insect lesson. Let kids maneuver jelly bean bees through the gel substance in a ziplock bag to feed the hungry creature.
Learn more: Toddler In Action
17. Easter Egg Rescue
Add some masking tape to a large container to create a spiderweb trap. Kids need to use a ladle or big spoon to rescue some easter eggs and sort them correctly by color.
Learn more: Happy Toddler Playtime
18. Squishy Bags
Fill a bag with paint and glue and print out some activity cards for this reusable fine motor activity. This simple activity lets them work on their pincer grasp and prepares kids for writing on paper and using pencils.
Learn more: Learning for Kids
19. Paper Plate Threading
For some colorful fine motor fun, let kids thread strips of colored construction paper through a paper plate. They should cut the strips themselves and also cut the gaps in the plate. Once they are done, they can pull the paper out and try to do it faster the second time around.
Learn more: Super Simple
20. Egg Carton Geo Board
An egg carton and some rubber bands can be transformed into a quick activity for motor skills and hand strength. Kids can wrap the rubber bands around the egg carton to create fun geometric shapes, allowing them to practice shape identifications and colors.
Learn more: And Next Comes L
21. Giant Nail Salon
This is a fun and dirty activity for preschoolers, letting them unleash their creative side. Kids can trace their handprints on an unfolded cardboard box and use their fingers to paint nails on the prints. They can use brushes to paint finer details too, helping them with their pincer grasp.
Learn more: Happy Toddler Playtime
22. Golf Tee Hammering
Hammer some golf tees into a styrofoam block in a shape that matches your current classroom theme or holiday. This is also great for eye-hand coordination and teaches preschoolers an essential life skill.
Learn more: Pre-K Pages
23. Card Lacing
Card lacing is one of the most basic motor activities but it can be adapted to many skill levels. Kids can start to lace with a plastic needle once they get the hang of it and later start to lace more complicated shapes.
Learn more: Live Well Play Together
24. Flower Arrangement
Kids can create all manner of colorful flower arrangements with a few plastic flowers and a colander. Add another level of difficulty by giving them verbal instructions about which flowers to choose or where to place them or simply letting their imaginations run free by creating their own designs.
Learn more: No Time For Flashcards
25. Letter Matching Activity
Stick some foam uppercase letters on popsicle sticks and write corresponding lowercase letters on a cardboard box with slits. Let kids slide the popsicle sticks into the slits, matching the letters together.
Learn more: School Time Snippets
26. Playdoh Cutting
Scissor skills are important skills to develop and by cutting clay or dough, kids can redo the activity many times over without much waste or a big mess. The dough is also tougher than paper to cut, helping preschoolers develop the muscles in their hands.
Learn more: Sugar Aunts
27. Threading Number Maze
Use colored paper or cut toilet paper rolls to make a number or letter maze. Kids can thread a string through the circles to connect the numbers or letters. These kinds of activities for preschoolers require little effort and only need to be set up once, making them the perfect filer activities in class or at home.
Learn more: Toddler at Play
28. Home Made Bird Feeders
Why not make a craft that is great for motor skills and actually serves a practical purpose? These homemade bird feeders let kids thread cheerios and fruit onto pipe cleaners for a yummy snack for garden birds. They will love watching birds eating their creations in the garden!
Learn more: Happy Hooligans
29. Farm Animal Washing Station
Create a sensory bin with lots of dirt and plastic farm animal figures. Kids can dig out the animal and wash them with a toothbrush. Make sure they get in all the nooks and crannies for squeaky clean farm animals!
Learn more: Coffee Cups and Crayons
30. Fastening Board
This board will help kids learn how to fasten a variety of things including a zipper, buttons, and velcro. This will make them independent individuals, ready to take on everyday tasks with confidence!
Learn more: Craftulate