Favorite Fine Motor Activities
With a few plastic Easter eggs and some tongs you can help your children develop fine motor skills.
OK, kids have been known to like these games too! Fine Motor Activities can be fun for children, even when they struggle with fine motor skill development.
With the advent of Easter, I start checking the stores for plastic "bunny ear" spoon-type tongs and small plastic Easter eggs that split. These toys are two of my much- loved fine motor activity tools in my occupational therapy practice.
I love to – oops, I mean the kids love it when I do this – hide the Easter eggs around a room. Then they have to find them all, picking them up with the tongs and putting them in a basket. Sometimes they carry the basket, and sometimes they have to bring the egg to the basket, keeping hold of the egg in the tongs. That takes more strength and planning.
Other Fine Motor Activities:
- Trust me: you don't even have to hide chocolate or candy in the plastic Easter eggs. The thrill of the hunt is fun enough!
- When I do hide objects in the plastic eggs, such as stickers, opening the eggs up is another terrific two-handed fine motor activity.
- Sometimes we shake and rattle the eggs first to guess what is inside. Shaking and rattling works on fine motor skills too.
- An alternative theme is to be a bug hunter. Hide plastic insects around the room to find and collect with the tongs.
- A magnifying lens in one hand, tongs in the other, a container for collection... and your budding entomologist is all set. I do suggest sticking to plastic insects for this one!
And even more Fine Motor Activities to try:
- What to do with those wire coat hangers from the dry cleaner's? Open one up (untwist the top). With a little adult arm strength you can re-shape the wire to a funky design. Thread a bead or beads onto the wire. Close it up again (by re-twisting or covering with tape). Now, move the bead along the wire. Try using each hand or using both hands together. This is a great activity for eye-hand coordination and visual tracking. Visual tracking is really important for successful reading. Try to make the bead stop and go at the corners. Remember eyes also have to stop and go to read words in a sentence or on a page. Practice stop and go by following a bead along the metal wire.
- Hammer golf tees into a hunk of foam. Apologies for any chagrin this may cause golfers and thanks (blame) to Autism Support Worker Yasuko who first shared this fantastic homemade toy with me. Remember to use both hands – a working hand and a helping hand. One works the hammer and one holds the tee or foam to stabilize. Watch those fingers. A plastic hammer is suggested.
- Find a new use for all those spare keys that you no longer have any idea what they open. Clean out the junk drawer. If you find matching objects (they don't have to be identical)... bonus. Hide one set of the matching objects in an opaque bag. Find the match just by feel. Don't have matching objects? Well, add your words! Hide the contents of your junk drawer in the opaque bag. Find all the objects that are soft. Find all the objects that start with the letter "A". Find all the objects you use in the kitchen. And so on. Don't forget to take turns for all the activities suggested and have your child come up with the "rules" and direct you.
Fine motor activities involve the muscles of the hand. Did you know that handwriting, both printing and cursive writing need fine motor skills?
If your child struggles with cursive writing and fine motor skills, you'll appreciate knowing what to look for and how to help your child develop these necessary skills. I hope you and your child enjoy my favorite fine motor activities shared here.