Fine motor development is a skill needed to be able to control and build strength, in the small muscles of the hands and fingers. This aids coordination between what you see and what you do. Without fine motor skills your child will not be able to write or hold objects using the correct grip.

Below are a sample of activities designed to strengthen your child’s fine motor skills:

Activity 1 – container, small items and tongs / tweezers e.g. empty egg carton, pom poms and tweezers. Get your child to pick up the pom poms 1 by one using tweezers and place them in an egg compartment. Challenge – write numbers on the carton to match the amount placed there.

Activity 2 – playdough but if you don’t have any it is easy to make.

2 cups of flour

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or coconut oil or baby oil

½ cup of salt

1 cup of boiling water

2 tablespoons of cream of tartar (will still work without)

Paint or food colouring and glitter (optional)

Few drop of glycerine (for stretch and shine – will still work without)

  • You can create tracing tools with paper so your child can mould and twist the dough to a letter or number shape.
  • You can add loose parts to the dough to make things with it, such as: pasta, buttons, shells, pebbles…
  • You can find printable play dough mats online so your child can make faces or other ideas.

Activity 3 – create a collage. Cut out pictures from a catalogue / magazine / or drawings and stick them all together.

Activity 4 – threading.

  • Beads on pipe cleaners / string / ribbon
  • Pasta necklaces
  • Spaghetti pasta and beads
  • A collinder with straws / pipe cleaners

Activity 5 – sensory writing.

  • Baking tray with a thin layer of salt, sand, glitter, sieved flour and the back of a pencil, fork, spoon or paintbrush to write tricky words (words children should know by sight as they cannot be sounded out phonetically)

Phase 2 – I, no, go, to, the, into

Phase 3 – he, she, we, me, be, was, you, thy, are, all, my, her

Activity 6 – complete a small piece puzzle

Activity 7 – sort small items into containers. Can extend with amounts.

Activity 8 – painting with cotton buds.

Activity 9 – weaving. Cut different coloured card into strips and demonstrate how to thread the paper under, over and under again through the slits.

Activity 10 – wrap elastic bands around a pine cone.

Activity 11 – collect lolly sticks, write numbers on each one, get your child to match the correct amount of loom bands to the number.

Activity 12 – draw some zig zags / spirals/ letters / numbers on paper. Use loose parts (small items) and place on top. Challenge by using tongs / tweezers.

Activity 13 – squeeze a tennis ball. You could extend this activity by carefully making a slit in the tennis ball. Get your child to squeeze the ball in order to pick up small items.

Activity 14 – nuts and bolts play. You could even introduce a collinder.

Activity 15 – baking! Pouring, stirring, squeezing, rolling etc.

Activity 16 – Pegs! These can be added to anything, including numbers.

Any activity that requires your child to concentrate whilst using a pincer grip!

Click here to view a printable version: Fine Motor Activities