Fine-motor skills are important for school activities like drawing, making crafts, and coloring, and also for self-help skills like dressing yourself and tying your shoes. Kids are already building these skills whenever they stack blocks, color a picture, and help you bake cookies. Even singing songs with finger play like “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” helps.
To improve these important skills, give kids opportunities to play with simple jigsaw puzzles, mazes, connect the dots pages, and lacing cards. Try stringing beads or macaroni. And have crayons, finger paints, sidewalk chalk, and other art supplies on hand, too. With enough practice, they’ll be ready to take on any activity kindergarten brings their way.
Strengthen little fingers with these fun activities:
- Sand Play–While at the beach or while playing in the backyard sandbox or sand table, your child can have fun pouring, digging, smoothing, and building sand creations. All of these actions help strengthen the muscles used for writing, cutting, and other fine-motor activities.
- Game Night–Designate one night a week to play a board game with your child. Games that involve holding and manipulating cards, dice, and game pieces will help your child practice many important fine-motor movements.
- Paper Art–Your child can be build fine-motor skills by simply cutting paper with safety scissors. Plus, it’s a great creative outlet for kids! Practice cutting strips of paper and then linking them together to make paper chains or fold a piece of paper in half several times and cut out small sections to create paper snowflakes. Try cutting out random shapes from colored paper or magazines and gluing them to create a paper collage.
- Clothespin Creations–Give your child clothespins that open when squeezed and have them hang up their artwork to make a gallery. They’ll be strengthening fine-motor skills every time they open and close them. Try decorating the clothespins by painting them first. Or make clothespin creatures by drawing on them with markers, by gluing on small faces cut out of coloring books, or by adding googly eyes. Decorating small items like this will help with their fine-motor skills.