Activities to Help Develop Fine Motor Skills

As an adult, you likely don’t pay much attention to the fine motor skills you use every day. From typing to brushing your teeth to zipping up a zipper, the skills you built early in life serve you daily. These skills involve the use of small muscles in the hands, wrists, fingers, feet and toes. The brain must coordinate between what you’re seeing and the action you’re performing.

It’s critical for young children to work on developing these abilities like grasping, holding, pressing and pinching. Here are our leading activities to help with kids’ development of fine motor skills.

Puzzles

This is an ideal activity for both physical and mental development. Children must understand how the pieces fit together, then perform the detailed skill of actually placing the pieces together. One challenge with puzzles for children is that they can be frustratingly difficult. That’s why it’s important for parents to provide puzzles appropriate for the child’s skill level and to offer support along the way. When the child does complete a puzzle, their smile and sense of satisfaction will be infectious.

Craft time

From gluing items together to spreading glitter to twisting pipe cleaners, craft time is great for supporting fine motor skill development. Knowing the right amount of pressure to use with a glue stick and working on using scissors will help your child with those tricky small muscle movements. Plus, they get to be creative and fun!

Play-Doh

If your child is a little young for completing puzzles or doing crafts, Play-Doh is an excellent activity for development. Allow your child to experiment and build whatever interests them. You can teach them how to make simple shapes like snakes, then work up to dinosaurs and castles. While you may be sacrificing your carpeting—which is bound to be covered in Play-Doh that will harden in the carpet’s fibers—it’s all for a good cause.

Small item play

For whatever reason, children are delighted by small, everyday items. Whether it’s clothespins, paper clips or rubber bands, they will collect all these little things. Let them bend the paper clips out of shape and experiment with how buttons feel. Picking up these small items and playing with them is another fine motor skill activity they’ll love. Just make sure you’re watching them closely to avoid any choking hazards.

Legos

Start your child out with larger Duplo blocks. Let them build and—possibly even more fun—destroy. Once they’ve mastered these bigger blocks and aren’t putting things in their mouth all the time, you can move on to smaller Legos. They’ll build fine motor skills while honing their creativity and imagination.

We hope these activities help you and your child understand how to develop fine motor skills. At My Second Home Early Learning Center, our dedicated team of teachers and staff offer a safe, secure and welcoming learning experience for all children. We’re a Christian childcare center and preschool that follows Biblical principles in all parts of our program. Contact us right now to find out about our age-appropriate curricula for children from infancy to age six.