Fine motor skills are essential not only for writing, but playing an instrument, participating in sports, and getting dressed. Stumped for suggestions to exercise your little ones fine motor muscles? Make it fun with these ideas.
1. Lacing Cards
I thought these look like so much fun, but my daughter (4.5 years) has no interest at all. My boys, however (2.5 years) love them. The animals are made of heavy cardboard, with different colored laces to ‘sew’ through the holes. You could also make your own with craft foam or heavy cardstock.
2. Play Dough
Manipulating clay or play dough helps to work hand muscles used in writing skills. Your little ones can use cookie cutters, or roll the dough into tiny balls.
Making Play Dough at home is easy and fun …. this way, you can choose your own colors, and even add scents. (how about pink peppermint, or lemon yellow?)
3. Using Scissors
We’ve used everything from the Kumon Workbooks to simply handing Rachel the coupon section and asking her to ‘cut Mommy some coupons’. It may be difficult for children at first, but with practice, they’ll become a cutting whiz.
4. Puzzle Play
Puzzles help with fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and reasoning. In my home, the boys love them, and are much more skilled than their older sister. This Bug Catching Game is one of our favorites.
5. Amazing Art Work
Whether your children choose crayons, markers, or paint, artwork can have a dual purpose – expressing creativity, as well as a fun way to improve fine motor skills.
Looking for something a little different? How about Do-A-Dot Markers?
These are a huge hit in my house, and we use them to learn letters as well. There are some wonderful Do a Dot Marker printables available for free – I like to print mine on cardstock, since the markers can sometimes run through standard paper.
What are your favorite ideas? Finger painting, building with blocks or stringing beads? Be sure and leave a comment so we can learn from you.
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