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8 Winter Crafts for Fine Motor Skills

by | Dec 26, 2021 | Noggins

If you have kids home for winter break, you’re probably looking for some activities to keep them entertained. And if there isn’t any snow outside yet, you can bring the winter fun indoors with these 8 winter crafts for fine motor skills.

Arts and crafts are a great way to keep your kids busy during the cold winter months. But they’re also helpful for practicing those fine motor skills. Cutting, painting, pasting, and threading all help to strengthen the muscles in the handles and improve dexterity.

What Are Fine Motor Skills?

Fine motor skills involve using the small muscles of the hands to hold and manipulate objects. For very young children, this can mean picking up blocks or stacking rings, or beginning to use their fingers and hands to feed themselves. Preschool and school-age children use their fine motor skills to hold a pencil or crayon, use scissors, tie their shoes, and get dressed.

Mastering fine motor control is important not only for kindergarten readiness, but also for your child’s budding independence. If your child struggles with fine motor skills, it can make it more difficult for them to keep up academically. They may also struggle with basic life skills, like brushing their teeth and getting themselves ready for the day.

What Kinds Of Crafts Are Good For Fine Motor Skills?

Any craft that requires using the small muscles of the hands to make precise movements (which means almost any craft at all, really) will be good for fine motor skills. Crafts that involve using the pincer grasp to pick up small objects are especially helpful for fine motor skills.

The crafts listed here focus on the following fine motor skills:

  • Cutting
  • Gluing
  • Threading
  • Painting
  • Pincer grasp
  • Dexterity

So, get ready to get creative and have fun strengthening those fine motor skills with these 8 winter crafts.

8 Winter Crafts for Fine Motor Skills

1. Marshmallow Snowflakes from Messy Little Monsters

These marshmallow snowflakes from Messy Little Monsters are so easy and require only two items you might even have on hand already—marshmallows and toothpicks! Have your child start with a big marshmallow in the middle to build off of. Then, they’ll strengthen their pincer grasp as they poke toothpicks into the marshmallows to build a snowflake.

Since your child will be building and figuring out how to keep their snowflake from falling apart, this also makes a great STEM activity. They’ll enjoy eating the marshmallows when they’re all done for a tasty treat, too.

Snowflake Marshmallows from Messy Little Monsters

2. Mitten Sun Catchers from Kinder Craze

Bring some color into your home with these cute mitten sun catchers from Kinder Craze. All you need for this craft is clear contact paper, colorful tissue paper, black construction paper (for the outline), and scissors.

You’ll first need to cut out the mitten frame and stick it onto the contact paper. Then, have your little one stick colorful squares of tissue paper all over the mitten. Once they’re done, you can cut off the extra contact paper and stick their mitten to the window. And that’s it!

Stained Glass Mitten from Kinder Craze

3. Cotton Ball Penguin from Easy Peasy and Fun

This adorable cotton ball penguin from Easy Peasy and Fun will require a little more set-up on your part. But it will be tons of fun for your little one to stick the cotton balls all over their penguin’s belly and face. You’ll need construction paper, glue, cotton balls, and the optional buttons for this craft.

First, you’ll need to cut out the penguin’s body and glue it onto another piece of construction paper. Then let your child glue cotton balls all over the white part of the penguin—this is great for fine motor skills and matching! Once they’re done with the cotton balls, they’ll glue down the buttons for the eyes and an orange construction paper beak.

Note: The buttons can be a choking hazard, so this craft is best for ages 3 and up with supervision.

Cotton Ball Penguin from Easy Peasy and Fun

4. Q-Tip Printed Snowman from Crafts on Sea

If your child needs to work on their pincer grasp, this Q-tip printed snowman from Crafts on Sea is a fun way to get some practice. You just need Q-tips, white paint, construction paper, a black pen or marker, scissors, and glue for this activity.

If you have a younger child, you can get as much of the snowman prepped in advance as you want. If they’re older, they could help with cutting out the snowman’s hat and scarf and even with drawing the snowman’s body. But if they aren’t ready to do that, just have them use their Q-tip to paint white dots all over the snowman, and then they can glue down everything else.

Q-Tip Snowman from Crafts on Sea

5. Beaded Snowflakes from Early Learning Ideas

Threading activities are often used in fine motor occupational therapy for kids to improve pincer grasp, dexterity, and eye-hand coordination. This beaded snowflake craft from Early Learning Ideas will help build all of those skills as well. For this craft, you’ll need pipe cleaners and beads—choose colors like white, blue, and purple.

First, you’ll cut the pipe cleaners in half and twist them together in the middle, so there are six sides to the snowflake. Then, your child can thread the beads onto each side. You can even encourage them to make a pattern with their colors to make this craft educational. Finally, help your child twist up each end and tuck it into the final bead on each side to keep the beads in place.

Note: The small beads are a choking hazard for toddlers, so this craft is best for children ages 3 and up with supervision.

Beaded Snowflakes from Early Learning Ideas

6. Snow Paint from Crafty Morning

If there’s snow on the ground, get outside and make snow art with this snow paint from Crafty Morning. You’ll need squeeze bottles (like these ones), water, and food coloring for this. For some added fun, have your child help fill the bottles with water and food coloring—you can even turn it into a lesson on color mixing!

Your child will strengthen the muscles in your child’s hands as they squeeze the bottles and create fun, colorful designs in the snow. Keep in mind that this one can get a little messy and the food coloring may stain, so have them wear their paint clothes.

Snow Paint from Crafty Morning

7. Paper Plate Snowman Wreath from Kids Craft Room

Your child will have fun making this paper plate snowman wreath from Kids Craft Room. This one uses mixed materials—you’ll need a paper plate, construction paper, cotton balls, buttons, ribbon, glue, and scissors. Get as much prepped in advance for your child as you need, depending on your child’s age and skills.

First, you’ll cut out the middle of the paper plate, which will be used as the snowman’s head. Then, you (or your child) will cut out the hat, scarf, nose, and arms. The cotton balls go around the edge of the snowman’s body, and the buttons are used for the eyes and mouth.

Note: The buttons can be a choking hazard, so this craft is best for ages 3 and up with supervision.

Snowman Wreath from Kids Craft Room

8. Winter Magic Watercolor Craft from The Crazy Craft Lady

The winter magic watercolor craft from The Crazy Craft Lady is simple to put together, but will thrill your child. You just need watercolor paper and paints, tape, a white china marker (you could alternatively use white crayon for a similar effect), paintbrushes, and cups for the paints and water.

First, make your “invisible” winter-themed drawings with the white china marker or crayon. If you have an older child, they might enjoy doing this part themselves. Then, tape the papers to a table (covered if you don’t want a mess), and have your child brush the watercolors onto each paper. The picture you drew in white should magically appear!

Winter Magic Watercolor Craft from The Crazy Craft Lady

Lydia Mockensturm
Lydia Mockensturm

“Hi! My name is Lydia and I’m a freelance writer who specializes in parenting and education. I have a bachelor’s degree in English and worked as a teacher and tutor before deciding to stay home full-time with my two young children. As a mom, I’m passionate about early childhood education and am always looking for fun and practical ways to teach my kids at home.”