More on Fine Motor Skills

If you haven’t seen my other posts on fine motor skills, catch up here and here first!


Here are some general activities that lend well to practicing fine-motor skills:
  • Playing with play dough
    • provide tools such as a rolling pin, cookie cutters, kid scissors, plastic or wooden cutting utensils, etc.
Luke using the letter “Y” cookie cutter and a rolling pin
  • Water table, sand box, sensory box, and bath tub play
    • provide cups, funnels, measuring spoons, sponges, etc.
Luke, at age 2, practicing pouring using our “make-do” water table.
Playing with funnels, at ages 2-1/2 and almost 1 in the kiddie pool.
Sensory box play — with animal figurines and measuring cup scoops


  • Letting the kids help you in the kitchen
    • Let them stir, pour, scoop, transfer, etc. 
We love the Learning Tower for making it easy and safe for the kids to help in the kitchen!
  • Building with blocks
Luke said he was building “Daddy’s work” :)
  • Arts and crafts activities
Lilah stamping — 21 months old

Painting the driveway with sidewalk chalk paint and foam brushes — Luke 3yo, Lilah 21 months
Painting with water on our Buddha Boards
What are some of your child’s favorite ways to practice their motor skills?

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4 comments to More on Fine Motor Skills

  • Hwannie

    My son is almost 4 years old and my daughter is 26 months old. Both kids practice their fine motor skills by practicing writing with pencil, drawing with colored pencils, using chopsticks at mealtimes (my son can almost use an adult chopstick on his own!), measuring rice for the rice cooker, etc. My son also plays the violin, and that activity alone has helped him hone his fine motor skills tremendously. As for gross motor skills, we ride bikes and scooters outside, play hopscotch, go to the park or an indoor playground, play golf with daddy, swim, and both kids take gymnastics classes.

  • Hwannie

    I also wanted to ask if you have any tips on time management with the kids. I am a stay at home mom, but the kids have preschool a couple of mornings per week and several extra-curricular activities. I’m trying to incorporate many homeschool strategies into their daily routine, and am curious as to your daily schedule. Do you have “preschool” time set aside each day? When do you run errands, prepare meals, clean, … blog? I feel like I don’t have enough time to get even the most simple tasks done! Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

  • Hwannie, I love all the ways your kids practice their motor skills — especially violin! Impressive! :)

    As for schedule, I’ve tried a bunch of different things. What we’re doing now is a little bit simpler routine than what we were doing b/c I’ve just started keeping a 1 and 2 year old in addition to my own 2 and almost 4 year old, and am trying to adjust them to our routines gradually. Basically what I do is just make a list of what I want to cover in a day (which tends to be the same for days or weeks at a time–i.e. calendar, art project, fine motor skills, Five in a Row book, etc.) and then space it out over the day. For example, today we did snack at 9:30 (snack lasts about 15 minutes and then I have 15 minutes to clean up before our next activity), calendar at 10:00 (lasts about 15-20 minutes), our Before Five in a Row book and activities at 10:30 (~15 minutes…gives me time to set up the art project afterwards), a little art project at 11:00 (~15 minutes), I worked with individual kids on different things after that for awhile (fine motor activities, etc., then I take time to make lunch), lunch at 12:00 (then I clean up while the kids play), naps/quiet time at 1, snack at 3:30, Signing Time video at 4:00, book reading marathon at 4:30, the 2 kids I watch got picked up at 5:00, then my kids worked on a pattern block activity while I made supper. Basically the way I plan it out, I give myself time before a snack/meal to get it made and time after to clean-up. I work with the kids in 15-30 minute snippets here and there and then when we finish, they are free to play, read, or continue working independently. I’ve started meal planning which has helped a lot as far as getting meals prepared. I clean up and blog during nap/quiet time (the kids are all in their rooms either sleeping or reading), and also use that time to get any significant dinner meal prep done if needed. After naps, I try to do books, a group game, and/or an educational video, trying to limit toy play so that the house doesn’t need a full-scale cleaning again. As for major cleaning (bathrooms, floors, etc.) I do that during naptime, evenings, or sometimes weekends — but I have to admit I’m not a major clean freak…so those things are pretty much on an as needed and when I get to ‘em basis. Hope this helps you…or at least shows you I don’t have it altogether either! LOL

  • In all of my education to teach preschool these activities are spot on. However you also need to be including large motor skills as well. the way a child’s body gets ready to write starts with core muscles, then shoulder stability and progresses down to the fingers. Those old fashion wheelbarrow rides we did as kids did more for our fine motor skills than all the pencils in the world.

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