If you’re a teacher or a parent of a little one, you probably already know that fine motor skills are important for young children to develop. But did you realize just how important fine motor skills are? They’re critical for future academic success. And, in this age of swiping tablets, many of our children are way behind in fine motor development. It’s time we as teachers and parents make a conscious decision to add fine motor activities back into the preschool and kindergarten day. I’ve found 11 cheap and easy fine motor activities you can implement right away!
Cheap and Easy Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers
1. Tweezer and Clothespin Activities
Give little ones child-friendly tweezers or tongs and have them try to pick up and move small items like craft pom poms, counting cubes, or cotton balls. Let them use clothespins on clip cards or card board. Both of these types of activities will help students build hand strength.
2. Chalk Activities
Let children practice a tripod grip with jumbo pieces of chalk. After they draw shapes and letters on a chalk board, have them use water and a paint brush to paint over the shapes to “erase” them.
3. Paper Activities
Encourage little learners to tear pieces of paper with their thumb, index, and middle fingers–alternating to use each hand. Then have them create a collage or mosaic with the torn pieces. Have students use long strips of paper and roll them on a pencil to create curly paper. Let children practice wadding up paper into balls, throwing it to have a “snowball fight”, and then opening the paper and smoothing it out again.
4. Playdoh Activities
Preschoolers should be encouraged to roll playdoh into logs or snakes and balls. Have them pinch, pull, and smash the playdoh. Give little ones a toothpick and have them dig and poke holes in the playdoh. Hide golf tees or beans inside playdoh, and encourage students to see how quickly they can find the items. You can fine my FAVORITE homemade playdoh receipe in THIS POST.
5. Scissor Activities
Give students playdoh scissors to use when they play with playdoh. These safety scissors are perfect for your littlest learners and they help children develop the hand motion for cutting. Draw random straight and curvy lines on paper and let children practice cutting on the lines. Give children magazines, and let them cut out pictures to make up a story. Plant crass in a small paper cup. When it gets long, let children use scissors to cut the grass.
More Cheap and Easy Fine Motor Activities
6. Painting Activities
Let students use finger paint to create a picture. Or, let them write in shaving cream or pudding being careful to use their index finger to develop finger strength and control. Let students use a qtip as a paint brush and try to make dots on a picture.
7. Hole Punch Activities
Let children use a one hole punch to make circles in a piece of scrap paper. Write a number on a piece of paper and encourage them to punch exactly that many holes in the paper. Give children access to decorative punches like hearts, shamrocks, and eggs. Then, have them try to create a pattern with the decorative hole punches.
8. Container Activities
Give little ones a variety of storage bins and boxes with different type lids. Encourage them to open and close the bins. Hide tiny trinkets in some of the bins, and have the children open the bins to reveal what’s inside. Let preschoolers practice opening and closing ziploc bags.
9. Eye Dropper and Turkey Baster Activities
Purchase a giant baster from the dollar store and some craft pom poms. Have students squeeze the turkey baster and use it to “blow” and move the pom poms across a table. Let them race a friend. Use eye droppers or pipettes to let children transfer water from one container to another. Or, let them drip paint on paper using the eye droppers to transfer the paint.
10. Spray Bottle Activities
Let children use spray bottles to water class plants. Put liquid watercolors in the spray bottles and let them spray paint paper outside by squeezing the bottle. If you live where it snows, students can use the spray bottle to “paint” the snow.
11. Coin Activities
Purchase a small piggy bank and provide a bag of pennies. Let children practice picking up the pennies and counting them one at a time as they place them in the piggy bank slot. Let them try to stack the pennies to see how many pennies they can stack together.
Read THIS POST to see more fine motor activities for preschool or kindergarten.
Looking for even more fine motor activities? Check out my Fine Motor Centers bundle. They’re a teacher and student favorite!
Leave a comment below and let me know YOUR favorite cheap and easy fine motor activity!