With more children starting school with poor hand strength and fine motor control than ever before, we are sharing our favourite activities for strengthening fine motor skills at preschool.
More and more young children are turning up at preschool without the skills to use scissors or hold a pencil to write which has many educators asking have fine motor skills gone missing for this generation?
Has growing up on iPads stunted their other skills?
Experts are divided about the reasons of the decline in fine motor skills but there is much we can do before they start school to help strengthen fine motor skills in a child's early years.
We've collected some of the most engaging fine motor activities from preschool to help you create more opportunities during play for children's fine motor skills to be strengthened.
HOW YOU CAN USE PLAY TO DEVELOP FINE MOTOR SKILLSMost young children learn by doing, not just by being told.
Play is a child learning but in our busy world many children are being moved from organised activity to activity.
Some are given with little time for free play yet the first three years are when a child's core muscle control and strength develop. If these fine motor skills are under developed when they reach preschool age, educators have to provide more hands-on activities for children with a mix of both fine and gross motor skills built which allow young children to develop this control and strength whilst learning.
HANDS ON ACTIVITIES TO BUILD FINE MOTOR CONTROL AT PRESCHOOL
There are many activities that allow preschoolers to build the fine motor skills during play - hands on invitations that are perfect for the developmental and physical age.
Here's a list of some of our 'kid approved' fine motor activities from preschool -
- manipulating playdough
- threading objects
- getting dressed or wearing dressups with buttons and zips that need doing up
- using Pop Beads
- squeezing small glue bottles
- using clothes pegs
- colouring in or painting between lines
- stacking small cups
- using scissors
- tearing paper
- using tweezers or tongs to pick up objects
- picking up marbles
- using stickers
- folding paper
- stacking or threading buttons
- using paper clips either linking them or sliding them onto narrow card
- pulling objects off sticky paper
- bending pipe cleaners or making wire sculptures
- using stamps on paper or playdough
- hand sewing
- painting with cotton buds
- using hole punches
- stacking small wooden spools (great with marbles too)
- wool or yard wrapping
- stretching rubber or loom bands
- transferring water beads
- using LEGO
- squeezing paint pippettes and refilling them
- tightening nuts on bolts
GRAB OUR FREE FINE MOTOR SKILLS POSTER!
One of my favourite tools to develop fine motor skills are push pins.
Using pins provide children with a fantastic opportunity to use their pincer grip and develop their hand-eye co-ordination as well as build finger strength.
Of course as with anything, supervision is key and with some cohorts, you may decide the risk of using sharp objects to great to use this idea with your students.
I like activities that have more than one focus.
I created these shape shifting printables for children to build their fine motor skills while learning about 2D shapes and their attributes. I've also thrown in a little magic which will hook most children into persisting with pinning their shape until they are complete.
On finishing, simply turn the paper over and display on an external window to reveal the secret writing! You can download our printable 2D shape shifting templates for FREE.
If you work in an Early Childhood setting I highly recommend these books. I have both ebooks on my iPad and use them frequently for inspiration.
You can also download our FREE mini poster of all our playful ideas to build fine motor skills from here.
LIKE IT? PIN IT!
Not on our mailing list?
It's the perfect time to join us and
grab a FREE copy of our 50 Time Saving, Easy to Prep Literacy Centres guide!