There are many ways to incorporate fine motor activities into play. Often, simply making the right tools and materials available will lead to exploration, creativity, and fine motor practice.

Sand and Water Tables

Large, plastic tweezers are perfect for little hands and are a great addition to the sand table. Place objects like gems, pebbles, and shells in the sand for children to explore. You can also introduce them to Handy Scoopers, which are like scissors with scoops on the end. They’re a novel alternative to using shovels and a great precursor to developing cutting skills.

Consider adding liquid droppers to your water table. Children will have fun sucking up water and squeezing it back out, all while working on their pincer grasp.  

Lacing

Set out materials like beads, buttons, and raw pasta noodles for children to lace onto string or pipe cleaners. It won’t take long before every adult in the room is sporting a new bracelet or necklace! You can also purchase lacing boards for children to use, which often come with strings that are similar to shoe strings.   

Playdough

Playdough provides children with endless options for creativity, along with practice using their fine motor skills. Adding a few materials to go with the playdough will spark their imagination and get their little hands busy creating. Consider adding items like sticks, pebbles, birthday candles, and gems to your playdough area. You can also set out tools like small, plastic rolling pins, cookie cutters, and scissors designed for use with playdough.     

Pegboards and Geoboards

Pegboards require children to pick up small pegs and place them into holes on the board. Having pegs available in a variety of colors will allow them to make designs. Another option to consider is geoboards. These are used with elastics, which children stretch around the pegs on the board. Here’s a cool tutorial to learn how to make your own! In addition to promoting fine motor skills, they can also be used to help children create shapes with the elastics.

Brought to you by: NOGGINSLAND

Written by: Erin Agnello

Edited & Designed by: Jamie Schmalenberger