Everyday fine motor play in preschool

Fun and easy ways to integrate fine motor activities that will build hand strength, coordination and pencil grip in your preschool students

This week’s Bam Radio show is titled, Fine Motor Skills: What Are They, Why Are They Too Important to Overlook?” and before you go any further, take a minute to listen to what the experts have to say!  You can view the show and listen here or here!

Rae Pica with Dr. Christy Isbell, Allison Sampish, Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed.

“The development of fine motor skills are often a casualty of the rush to get young children up to academic speed. In this segment, our guests explain why fine motor skills are a critical building block for higher learning and should never be overlooked” (Bam Radio)

Pick Up Sticks

Sorting and Transferring Objects

I am always exploring new ways I can promote the use of fine motor skills in my classroom…

I may set out something like picking up and sorting pom poms with tweezers or chopsticks into colorful bags…

Whether the children use my homemade straw tweezers or they use their hands to pick up, manipulate, and move the pom poms – they are using their fine motor skills in the process.

Building Pre-Writing Skills

Promoting the use of fine motor skills is an important part of preparing young children to write, catch and throw a ball, type on a computer, open a door, and the list goes on. As young children develop the muscles in their hands, they develop the strength they need to complete fine motor processes that will play a valuable part in higher level learning.

Developing Proper Pencil Grip

Often times, I will see teachers or parents who will insist on a child holding a pencil using the “correct pencil holding form” but the reality is, young children are still developing the muscles they need in their hands and fingers to hold a pencil correctly. Thus, young children will start off holding a pencil or crayon in a way that looks awkward or incorrect but given time and good opportunities to build fine motor strength and skills, most children will self-correct on their pencil grip when their fine motor control and strength gets to the point that they can manage the pencil with the correct grip.

Promoting Fine Motor Development

There are lots of ways to promote fine motor skills and help children build fine motor strength including cutting with scissors…

Squeezing, manipulating, pinching, and rolling playdough…

Weaving, lacing, and sewing…

Peeling and sticking stickers…

Scooping, pouring, mixing and the list goes on…

There are opportunities all throughout the preschool classroom to promote fine motor development!

How to Make Homemade Tweezers

I made 2 different versions of homemade tweezers from straws.  This isn’t a perfect solution to real tweezers but it does provide a new experience for preschoolers to try out.  The straws I used were very nice and sturdy from Meijer…

Version 1: Cut one long straw in half. Hot glue a skinnier piece of straw inside the end of each bigger straw.


Version 2: Bend the straw in half – add tape to hold


Straws, tape

If you have a fun idea that promotes fine motor skills in young children, I invite you to add your idea in the comments section below!

Links to Grow on…

Pencil Grasp Development by OT Mom

Kindergarten Hand Exercises by OT MOM

Handwriting: Pre-K Pages

Fine Motor Development by School Sparks

30 Kids Activities and Materials for Promoting Fine Motor Skills from Hands on: as we grow

How to Help Your Toddler Develop Fine Motor Skills by Smart Parent Advice

Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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