29 Activities to Practice Fine Motor Skills


Fine motor skills are those involving the small muscles of the hand and fingers and are the basis for handwriting, spelling and written language skills. Fine motor skills are needed for everyday tasks from buttoning a shirt to opening a cereal box. Without good fine motor skills, children can struggle to keep up with the written component of school, can have hand and finger muscles that tire easily, and can get frustrated in trying to meet teachers’ expectations. Below are listed a few exercises you can do with your child to make it fun for them to build strength and skill that will help them in life and school. I have included links to simplify your search for tools and materials you may need. I do not receive any compensation for these endorsements, I link simply for your convenience and because I like the products, posts, pins, or activities as learning aids. Without further ado, 29 activities to practice fine motor skills:

  1. Color in coloring pages or worksheets. Stay in the lines!
  2. Color within stencils.
  3. Trace a simple picture through tracing paper.
  4. Cut newspaper into strips.
  5. Cut a short line on a blank piece of paper (stay on the line).
  6. Cut out a more complicated shape or line and stay on the lines (when child can do #4 and #5 with ease).
  7. Sew on sewing cards.
  8. String beads, macaroni, or cheerios on a piece of yarn or ribbon.
  9. Weave with paper strips.
  10. Weave with pot holder loops.
  11. Play pick-up sticks.
  12. Practice buttoning, zipping, and snapping.
  13. Make things out of clay or play-dough.
  14. Follow mazes on paper and avoid the side lines.
  15. Connect the dot activities.
  16. Play finger games, such as itsy bitsy spider, patty cake, 1,2 buckle my shoe, and other hand plays.
  17. Finger paint.
  18. Paint with water colors.
  19. Play fine motor-focused games such as Operation, Bed Bugs, Perfection, Mancala, Chinese Checkers.
  20. Play catch with a small ball.
  21. Put together puzzles.
  22. Practice tracing own name in capital letters.
  23. Practice copying own name in capital letters.
  24. Stamp with stampers.
  25. Arrange stickers on paper.
  26. Floor Tape Letters.
  27. Make Perler Bead Coasters.
  28. Drive a Car on a Zig Zag Track.
  29. Visit my Pinterest board for hundreds more ideas.

So that will get you started. For more about fine motor skills– what they are and why they are important, check out this article. If you need more ideas for activities to practice fine motor skills with your kids, there are a multitude of blogs out there like this one with great fine motor skill activity ideas. Any small objects that your child can manipulate will help

Donna B. Amberman of Capital District School Psychology specializes in independent evaluations, child development, ADHD & second opinions in Albany, Troy, & Saratoga, NY.
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