When children write with a small piece of chalk on a chalkboard, they are naturally encouraged to use a pinching grip. The resistance of the chalk on the board gives small hands more control. Children also use more pressure with chalk, building strength as they go!
Who doesn’t love stickers? Have students peel and press small stickers to help develop control and dexterity. Stickers can be used as part of a math activity (count and stick to match the number) or for art and writing (make a sticker picture, write or tell a story).
9. Start spraying!
A spray bottle full of water is a great fine motor tool. Holding the bottle upright while squeezing the trigger builds arm and hand strength. Kids can use the bottle to wash tables, water plants, or “paint” outdoor walls.
10. Snip, snip, snip!
Cutting with scissors is a crucial fine motor activity. Start small by having children snip strips of paper into small pieces. Children can also use scissors to cut play dough.
11. String beads.
Children love playing with beads! Stringing pony beads onto laces or pipe cleaners is a fun way to build coordination and pincer grip. Stringing beads ties in nicely with patterning lessons
in early childhood classrooms.
12. Let them build!
There are so many great construction toys that help children develop the muscles in their hands. Snapping blocks together, turning bolts and nuts, and fitting pegs into pegboards are all activities that naturally grow finger strength.
13. Pick a puzzle.
Give children chances to piece together jigsaw puzzles and you will be helping them build dexterity with a side of spatial awareness! Start small by using sturdy puzzles with twelve or fewer pieces to avoid frustration.
14. Lace it up.
A helpful precursor to shoe-tying, lacing cards help students develop eye-hand coordination, pincer grip, and motor planning skills. Warning: Untangling the laces may be your fine motor challenge for the day. 😉
15. Pop, pop, pop!
Save your bubble wrap! The irresistible practice of popping those little bubbles is a terrific and satisfying fine motor activity for children. Add some bubble wrap to your calm-down area or your indoor recess tub to give kids a chance to work their little fingers!
If you want to incorporate fine motor activities throughout the year in a more structured way, you may be interested in my fine motor skills task boxes
. You can check those out on TPT by clicking the image below.
I hope these simple fine motor ideas help you incorporate strengthening activities into your routines! Please comment below if there are some great activities you use to build fine motor skills in your preschool or kindergarten classroom–I’d love to read about them and I know others would as well!