3 Easy Fine Motor Activities

All children develop on their own schedule, while one may be excellent at climbing stairs at 2, another can’t but can identify all the letters in the alphabet. Our job is to provide rich , experience filled days not to drill them with facts and skills they aren’t ready for. Here are 3 fun ways to work on fine motor skills that allow for exploration as well as fine tuning.

Play Dough Treasure Hunt

Young children love finding things, I don’t know about you but I hear “Look Mama, looooook!” many many times a day, sometimes when I take the little hand pulling me I am surprised with a tower of blocks, sometimes his favorite garbage truck that he’s shown me with the same enthusiasm five times already that day. Activities like this tap into that and throws in an extra challenge. Dig around, count what you’ve found or discover that if you press hard on a button with holes that “Wiggly worms” appear. * Thanks to Teri for reminding me of this activity in a comment a few months ago!

Playdough Cutting

Using scissors is tricky. To help ease your child into learning I like to use play-dough, and very dull plastic safety scissors. These scissors will cut paper but not without just the right amount of pressure. However they cut play dough perfectly every time. This way your little person can focus on the grip and co-ordination of opening and closing , not fiddling with the paper, or angles they are cutting at. Also if they are getting frustrated, if they aren’t ready, simply remove the scissors and start creating something with the play-dough.

Marshmallow Building

This is a fine motor activity for older kids, it takes a lot of coordination and a good heaping of patience to build even simple structures out of marshmallows and toothpicks. After a day the marshmallows will harden and the sculpture will be sturdier. My son decided a snack was more fun , but at least he used the toothpicks.

Need a playdough recipe ?
Check out what happened when I tested out readers recipes!

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  1. Annette says

    I have a suggestion for next time…gumdrops instead of marshmallows! They work well. I used to teach a class called Mini Structures…

    I’m hoping you can help me. Did you post about a month ago about the book called Ten Apples up on Top? I’m trying to figure out who might have done it…I have the book now, but didn’t bookmark the activity. Bummer. Let me know if you can help!

  2. Teri says

    Yay! Glad to help! The “bead hunt” is one of my students’ favorite activities…and they also love hiding them for the next student to find!!

    PS – sorry for the delete! TYPOS!

  3. Allie says

    Teri I am so glad you saw the post, I have been in a car all day and was wondering if you’d see it!

    Thanks again!

    In my PreK class we often put pennies and nickles in and had the kids keep going until they got ten cents .

  4. Anissa says

    Love you site and all the activities. I started kids corner on Saturday– to share activities for the summer. I homeschool so I’m putting some away for when school starts. TFs

  5. April says

    I was looking for fine motor activities for my 4 year old. I have learned a sheet of small stickers, and a blank 3×5 card are miraculous. He was so excited. We turned it over and made it into a postcard when he was finished, and sent it to grandma. Almost no alteration required. Just draw a line down the middle and address it on the right. A quick note on the left and a cheap stamp. Voila.


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