This post was contributed by Sarah of Little Bins For Little Hands.
Use a Animals in a Sensory Tray for Fine Motor Development
Liam is not much of a drawer or scribbler in coloring books, on paper, or on walls (thank you) so I have been struggling a bit to help him with his fine motor development and holding a pencil. It is definitely not his thing to sit with a worksheet in front of him or even a big sheet of paper with a box full of markers. Of course, I decided to pull out some sensory play instead so he could work on practicing his swooshes, lines and curly q’s! As you may know, sensory play is usually our way to go. Anything hands-on and touchable really makes an impact for him. This activity ended up being a lot of fun and he didn’t even realize my sneaky little pre-writing skills and fine motor development work. Easy set up includes a pan or shallow dish lightly filled with a fine material like sand, cornmeal or salt. Our props were Toob animals (my favorites), rocks and a pair of chopsticks!
He chose the animals and placed the rocks between them. He understood he needed to find the paths around the rocks to help the friends get to one another. He practiced different routes and then we would shake the dish and even it out before starting again. He has a few books with mazes already that he somewhat enjoys but this was certainly much more exciting!
I love hands-on play for toddlers and preschoolers. This type of play is really out of the box thinking (even if it is in a rectangular pan). Sensory play involves so many different senses and for Liam is the right mix of visual and textural appeal to help him engage in a much more meaningful and intentional way.
We finished up with a bit of free play with the animals and cornmeal. Not only did he work on fine motor skills, but he had some independent play time too!
Sarah is a stay at home mama to one energetic four year old boy. Hands-on learning and sensory play are a big part of each day’s lessons and activities. Liam has Aspergers Syndrome and SPD, so each day is unique and a bit messy but fun! She is author of Little Bins For Little Hands.
We’ve featured the use of a sensory tray before, but I love Sarah’s addition of the Toob animals to enhance her Liam’s interest and creative play. Such a fun way to work on that fine motor development so vital for Preschoolers. Thanks, Sarah!
More Activities for Fine Motor Development
Do your kids have trouble with their fine motor development? Do you have any suggestions of activities that help? Share in the comments below!
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