Education tip …fine motor activities for little fingers

Little fingers need many activities to learn the basic fine motor skills needed for later writing development. I’ve rounded up some of my favourites to use at home or in class.

Peg box

Take an old card box (shoe boxes work best).  Fill with clothing pegs and have your child practice clipping them onto the box and taking them off.

Posting pom poms

Use an old coffee can. Cut a few round holes in and give your child a handful of colourful pom poms to post in. This can keep most children busy for quite some time.

Shape puzzle

From the side of a moving box (you want to use a box that has a bit of depth to the cardboard to form a strong Base for the puzzle) cut out various shapes. Show your child how to place each shape into the correct space. Good to reinforce learning shapes.

Pizza sewing

Poke holes into a Styrofoam pizza plate. On a large needle (plastic for smaller people) attach some coloured wool and teach your child to sew a stich into each hole.

Hang up the socks

Place some elastic bands around an ice cream container. Cut out matching socks from card . Use small craft pegs and let your child match the socks and hang them on the line. You can reinforce numbers by letting them count the socks as they hang them.

Paper clip fun 

Give your kids a handful of paper clips and let them post them around a piece of card. Paper us often to flimsy for little hands.

mud drive

Place a car into a bowl of brown paint and let your child make skid marks by driving onto the paper in a back and forward motion. If you adventurous you could do this activity using real mud.

Rice scoops

Give the kids a tray with some containers (please remember to use plastic )a scoop and funnel. Allow them to scoop the rice into the different containers. They will enjoy watching the grains fall through the funnel.

You can also use flour, sago, popcorn, beans , pasta or sand.

Sand writing box

Although you can buy these you can also make one by placing a shallow layer of sand (salt or flour) into a shallow box. I like to place various pieces of coloured card underneath. Make the writing cards by printing the letters onto A5 pieces of card. Give your child a stick and let them practice writing.

Button posting boxes

Cut a slit into several different coloured containers. Give your child colourful button’s and have them post them onto the correct colour container.

Rolling pin colour mix

This fun activity is done by placing two different colour blob’s of paint onto a piece of paper . Let your child roll the colours together to form a new colour.

Red +blue=purple



Can elastics

On an old can (see that the rim is not sharp) place several elastics.  Have your child practice taking them off and putting them on.

Posting box

Paint a shoe box bright colours . Cut several slips in the lid. Just big enough for a craft stick to slide in. Let you little one slide a stick in each slit.

Threaded shapes

Cut as many shapes as your child knows from card. Punch holes round each shape. Let your child thread around each shape.

Cutting box 

Use a tray  to lay out a pair of scissors and several thin strips of paper that have patterns on for your child to practice cutting on the line. Straight lines, zigzags and curves work best.

Pom pom drop 

Give each child a bottle and a pair of tweezers. See who can drop the most pom poms in theit bottle in a certain time.

Tooth pick shapes 

On a meat tray draw the shapes your child knows. Use a toothpick to pick holes around each shape. Let your child place a toothpick in each hole to for the shape.

zip it

Nice to teach little hands how to zip up clothing and to keep them busy for a while. Glue bright coloured zips onto card for this awesome quiet activity.

Velcro shape puzzle

Again use the side of a moving box. Cut felt shapes. Draw around each shape on the card. Glue a piece of velcro on the card and the shape.  Let the little ones place the shapes in their correct space. 

Corn roll

Dip a used corn cob into paint and roll put onto paper for a fun print.


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