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Fun Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers
Fine motor skills are so important for children. According to a study presented in The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, students spend up to 60% of their school day performing fine motor activities!
So, What Are Fine Motor Skills for Preschoolers?
While “gross motor” encompasses the movement and coordination of large muscles, “fine motor” encompasses the movement and coordination of small muscles, such as those in the hands and fingers. So, babies use fine motor skills to reach for and grasp your hand. Toddlers use them to pick up a Cheerio between their thumb and index finger. And, preschoolers use fine motor skills to use utensils or draw with a crayon.
The Center for Disease Control provides a comprehensive resource outlining developmental milestones by age, from birth through age 5. Accordingly, let me summarize the typical fine motor skills of preschoolers:
3 Year Olds — Strings large beads together. Puts on clothes by oneself. Uses a fork.
4 Year Olds — Serves oneself food or pours water (with supervision). Unbuttons some buttons. Holds crayon or pencil between fingers and thumb (not fist).
5 Year Olds — Buttons some buttons.
But, don’t worry if your child doesn’t fit perfectly within those guidelines. There are so many fun ways to work on fine motor skills with preschoolers: simple cutting activities for practicing scissor skills; cute fine motor crafts; clothespin activities for strengthening pincer grasp; pre-writing activities for working on pencil grip; fine motor games for improving hand-eye coordination; and so much more!
So Many Fun Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers!
I’ve gathered up all of my favorite fine motor activity ideas to create the ultimate list of preschool fine motor skill activities. Let’s check ’em out…
85 Fun Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers
Pencil Grip Activities
1. Alphabet Dot to Dot
Make this simple dot-to-dot activity for practicing pencil grip and ABCs, too.
2. Play Dough Writing
Or, inspire children to practice their writing grip with dowel rods and play-dough.
3. Q-Tip Alphabet Erasing
This pencil grip activity gets young kids gripping cotton swabs to erase letters on a whiteboard.
4. Simple Sticker Match
Or, set up a simple sticker matching activity for practicing pre-writing skills.
5. Pre-Writing Rain Painting
Little hands grip paint brushes for this simple but magical crayon-resist painting project.
6. Find Your Name Activity
And, this easy pre-writing activity doubles as a name recognition activity, too.
DIY Toys & Games for Fine Motor Development
7. DIY Ribbon Pull Toy
Now, use some ribbon to turn a basic kitchen colander into an instant fine motor toy.
8. Chalkboard Geoboard
Or, make a homemade chalkboard geoboard. Then, have your child use rubber bands to make shapes and strengthen fine motor muscles, too. (Or, you can purchase a kids geoboard on Amazon.)
9. Fine Motor Table Hockey
Turn your kitchen table into a little hockey rink with just a little painters tape. Then, use turkey basters and crumpled-paper to play hockey!
10. Cotton Ball Races
Kids squeeze plastic squeeze bottles for this clever cotton ball racing game that works little hand muscles.
11. Rainbow Bubble Wrap Color Pop Game
And, your child will get a kick out of using their index finger to pop bubble wrap as you call out colors.
12. DIY Nuts & Bolts Board
Use extra-strength adhesive to glue steel bolts on a board. Then, invite your child to thread steel washers and nuts onto them. (Or, consider these jumbo toy nuts and bolts for younger children.)
Easy Fine Motor Activities using Household Items
13. Pushing Toothpicks Activity
This simple fine motor activity has little ones drop toothpicks through the tiny holes of a cheese shaker.
14. Water Transferring Activity
And, this simple activity uses an eye dropper and ice cube tray to strengthen hand muscles and improve finger coordination.
15. Cardboard Box Pipe Cleaner Push
Punch holes in a plain old cardboard box for little fingers to push pipe cleaner pieces through. Or, add some color learning by coloring around each hole and using colored pipe cleaners.
16. Muffin Tin Fine Motor Activity
Some pom poms and kids fine motor tools turn a basic muffin pan into a no-prep preschool fine motor activity.
17. Building Button Towers
Stand dried spaghetti up in some playdough. Then, challenge your child to build towers by threading buttons onto the spaghetti.
18. Froot Loop Towers
Or, use Froot Loops cereal for your towers instead. Plus, older preschoolers can make patterns with the colorful cereal, too.
19. Dish Grid Weaving Activity
Ribbon, pipe cleaners, and yarn turn a plastic sink grid into a clever preschool weaving activity.
20. Unicorn Rescue
Or, wrap rubber bands around your child’s unicorn toy figurine (or any animal toy). Then, invite your child to rescue it!
21. Pool Noodle & Rubber Bands Activity
Now, invite your child to stretch rubber bands around a pool noodle for great hand muscle strengthening.
Preschool Cutting Activities
22. Simple Cutting Tray
Set up a simple cutting activity with only a marker and some construction paper. Then, have your child use safety scissors to practice their cutting skills.
23. Cutting Practice with Old Artwork
Or, recycle your kids’ old artwork and use it for some simple scissor skill practice.
24. Cutting Practice Collage Bracelet
Invite kids to practice cutting various materials to stick onto contact paper bracelets.
25. Bear Rescue Cutting Activity
Kids get a kick out of cutting through tape to rescue bears! (Plus, you can tailor this activity to any child’s interests by switching out the bear counters. Use transportation-themed counters, unicorns, dinosaurs, or even aliens instead.)
26. Rainbow Confetti Cutting Activity
Or, have children cut strips of colorful paper into “Rainbow Confetti.” (And, if you’re doing this with a pre-k class, print the cute labels to send their confetti home with them.)
27. Simple Nature Cutting Tray
Let young children practice their scissors skills with a simple nature cutting activity.
Pincer Grasp Activities for Preschool
28. Rubber Band Counting Sticks
Make simple counting sticks out of popsicle sticks. Then, have your child practice their pincer grasp by adding mini elastic hair ties.
29. Simple Clothespin Basket Activity
Or, grab some clothespins and a wire basket for a no-prep activity for pinch strength.
30. Golf Tee Patterns
Get your little one using their pincer grasp pounding colorful golf tees into styrofoam.
31. Sticker Wheels Activity for Fine Motor Skills
Or, draw simple car shapes on a large sheet of paper. Then, invite your kids to add dot sticker wheels.
32. Monster Munch Clip Activity
Add googly eyes to bag clips for a clever fine motor activity that teaches colors, too.
33. Push Pin Alphabet Activity
Or, have children strengthen their pincer grip using push pins to poke along a letter of the alphabet. (These jumbo push pins work great for this activity, too.)
Beading and Lacing Activities for Fine Motor Skills
34. Easy Feather Beading Activity
Invite your child to hone their hand-eye coordination by threading pony beads onto feathers.
35. Froot Loop Rainbow Threading
Or, have your child work on fine motor control by threading Froot Loops cereal onto pipe cleaners to make a colorful rainbow.
36. Simple Patterns Straw Threading
Use colorful paper straws, pony beads, and pipe cleaners for this simple threading activity that doubles as a math activity, too.
37. DIY Flower Sewing Activity
Or, use foam sheets to make a flower-shaped sewing activity that’s perfect for working on fine motor skills.
38. Easy Apple Lacing Activity
Turn a red paper plate into a cute apple-themed lacing activity for fine motor skill practice.
39. Rainbow Hair Fine Motor Activity
Or, try this cute preschool craft that has kids thread colorful beads onto pipe cleaner hair!
40. Easy Leaf Lacing Activity
Go on a nature hunt to collect leaves. Then, laminate and punch some holes for nature-themed lacing cards.
41. Crazy Straw Felt Threading
Cut some basic shapes out of felt for your preschool child to thread onto crazy straws.
42. Colorful Button Snake
Or, have little hands thread colorful buttons onto pipe cleaners to make cute little button snakes.
Cute Fine Motor Crafts for Preschoolers
43. Lion Puppet Cutting Craft
Now, kids get great fine motor work using scissors to cut the mane on this cute lion puppet.
44. Yarn-Wrapped Fox
And, wrapping yarn makes this cute fine motor craft perfect for strengthening small hand muscles.
45. Fine Motor Octopus
Or, turn a paper plate into a cute octopus with dyed pasta threaded onto pipe cleaner tentacles.
46. Yarn-Wrapped Rainbow
Young children practice hand-eye coordination wrapping colorful yarn around a cardboard rainbow.
47. Flower Beading Fine Motor Activity
Help your child make this pretty flower craft with only pipe cleaners and wooden beads.
48. Pizza Toppings Preschool Craft
Or, have kids practice fine motor skills using glue sticks to add toppings to paper pizzas!
49. Paper Plate Flowers
Children get great fine motor practice cutting petals, gluing them on, and decorating their flowers with dot markers, too.
50. Rainbow Weaving
Or, have kids weave strips of construction paper for a colorful rainbow fine motor craft.
51. Fine Motor Circle Art Project
Kids get practice cutting cardstock and felt circles. Then, they get fine motor skill practice gluing them onto their artwork.
52. Threaded Paper Plate Snail
Turn a paper plate into a cute snail craft that gets little fingers threading yarn.
53. Colorful Rainbow Mobile
Or, have kids thread colorful dyed pasta for this rainbow mobile preschool craft.
54. Fine Motor Bird Feeder
Then, have your child thread straw beads and Cheerios to make their own bird feeder!
Fine Motor Sensory Activities
55. Sensory Sand Writing Tray
Make a sensory tray with sand and seashells. Then, invite your child to practice writing in the sand with their index finger.
56. Animal Maze Sensory Tray
Or, use cornmeal and small animal toys arranged into mazes for little fingers to navigate.
57. Citrus Sensory Writing Tray
Now, try a scented sensory tray with sugar and a citrus Jell-O mix. And, provide a jumbo smoothie straw for writing practice.
58. Simple Shaving Cream Fine Motor Fun
Or, invite your young child to draw in shaving cream on a window. (You’re windows will be squeaky clean when you wipe it off, too!)
59. Shaving Cream Writing Tray
Or, have them write in shaving cream on a plastic activity tray using a popsicle stick instead.
60. Playdough Snake Patterns
Rolling playdough snakes is great for working small muscles in little hands. And, pressing pretty sequins into the snakes is even better!
61. Shaving Cream Dot-to-Dot on the Light Table
And, kids love using their index finger to connect the dots of shaving cream on a light table.
Fine Motor Activities Inspired by Children’s Books
62. Ten Apples Up On Top Clip Activity
Use the free printable, paint stir sticks, and some clothespins to make a fun fine motor activity inspired by Dr. Seuss’ Ten Apples Up On Top.
63. Mixed Up Chameleon Fine Motor Game
Or, read Eric Carle’s The Mixed Up Chameleon. Then, have kids use clothespins to feed a chameleon pipe cleaner flies!
64. Brown Bear Lacing Cards
Print and laminate these lacing cards for a quick fine motor activity inspired by the children’s book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
65. Brown Bear Button Snake
Or, use this free printable and some colorful ribbon to make a clever Brown Bear, Brown Bear-inspired button snake.
66. Elmer the Elephant Sticker Activity
Grab some dot stickers for an easy fine motor sticker activity inspired by the colorful elephant from the book, Elmer.
67. Press Here Necklace
Or, read the children’s book, Press Here. Then, make their own necklaces with paper straw beads and construction paper dots.
68. The Lorax Finger Puppet
Then, inspire some fine motor fun with a homemade Lorax finger puppet inspired by the Dr. Seuss classic.
69. Alphabet Mystery Sensory Bin
Or, add letter magnets and tongs to a simple dried corn sensory bin. Then, pair it with an alphabet book, like Alphabet Mystery.
Fine Motor Activities for Seasons & Holidays
70. Clay & Pipe Cleaner Flowers
Have kids use their fine motor skills to add funky pipe cleaner petals to air dry clay flowers with this preschool craft that’s perfect for Spring.
71. Simple Nesting Eggs Fine Motor Activity
Or, invite them to explore plastic easter eggs of various sizes for a simple fine motor activity for Easter.
72. Fall Leaves Fine Motor Art Activity
Have little ones build hand strength by painting fall leaves with eye droppers and liquid watercolors.
73. Fall-Themed Cutting Tray
Or, use construction paper and fall-themed stickers for a cutting tray that’s perfect for Autumn.
74. String Art Spider Webs for Halloween
Older pre-k kids will love weaving a string spider web for this creative Halloween art project.
75. Christmas Lights Sticker Activity
For a holiday fine motor skill activity, draw some basic houses on a big piece of paper. Then, invite the kids to add dot sticker Christmas lights.
76. Window Cling Winter Fine Motor Activity
Or, for an instant Winter-themed fine motor activity, invite your child to play with snowman gel window clings on a mirror.
77. New Years Fireworks Salt Painting
Squeezing glue bottles and handling paintbrushes, work kids’ hand muscles. Plus, with a fireworks theme, this preschool art project can be used for New Years or Independence Day!
Printable Fine Motor Skill Activities
78. Finger Hopscotch
Print this finger hopscotch game for a no-prep fine motor activity for little index fingers.
79. Eat the Cheese Finger Puppets
Or, cut out these adorable mouse finger puppets for a clever game that helps fine motor coordination.
80. Cat Whiskers Lacing Cards
Print and laminate these cute cat lacing cards. Then, have your child give the cats pipe cleaner whiskers.
81. Cotton Swab Snowflakes Activity Sheets
Or, use these printable activity sheets and cotton swabs for some easy fine motor activities for Winter.
82. Printable Playdough Pinch Challenge
Print and laminate these simple playdough mats. Then, invite your child to work on their pinch strength.
83. Fine Motor Monster Cutting Craft
Kids love cutting and pasting hair on their monsters for this printable fine motor craft.
84. Caterpillar Egg Counting Activity
It takes hand-eye coordination to use tweezers to count pom pom caterpillar eggs onto these printable leaf mats.
85. Q-Tip Painting Pages
And, it takes hand-eye coordination for little fingers to use q-tips to paint all the dots on these printable painting pages, too.
Activities & Toys for Fine Motor Skills on Amazon:
Not interested in setting up the activities above? Consider these toys and games on Amazon that are perfect to use for fine motor skill activities…
Montessori Screwdriver BoardCounting Dinosaurs Activity SetLearning Resources Super Sorting PieSENSORY4U Sensory Buckle PillowdeMoca Montessori Busy BoardSkoolzy Fine Motor Nuts & Bolts ToysLearning Resources Link ‘N’ Learn LinksLolo Toys Sensory KitLearning Resources Spike The Fine Motor HedgehogFood Lacing Toy SetInspire My Play Sensory BinWikkiStix Sensory Fidget ToyLearning Resources Noodle Knockout! Fine Motor GameSkoolzy Lacing BeadsLearning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool SetMelissa & Doug Scissor Skills and Tape Activity Books SetMelissa & Doug Clay Play Activity Set
Or, find more fun toys and activities in B-Inspired Mama’s Amazon Shop: Perfect Picks for Toddler & Preschool Busy Bags
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