Fine motor skills involve the use of the muscles and joints of the hands that interconnect and work together to allow you to complete dexterous tasks. They are the smaller hand and finger movements used, for example, to open a lunch box, zip up a coat or write with a pencil. A young child cannot be expected to be able to do these tasks or learn to write appropriately if they haven’t yet developed the strength needed in their hands and fingers. Here are some ideas you can try at home with your families to help develop your fine motor skills and have some fun as well.
Ice and snow melt
Use a pipette to squeeze some warm water on to some ice cubes or snow. How long does it take to melt? Maybe you could try adding some food colouring or paint to the water or try using different liquids such as vinegar or fizzy juice.
Try squeezing, stretching, squashing, pinching and rolling some play dough. Can you make some snakes or wiggly worms? Maybe you could try using scissors to cut the play dough into small pieces and then rolling them into little balls. How many can you make? Can you make different sizes of play dough balls? Try holding a masher in both hands and find out how flat you can squash your play dough. You could also try using some loose parts to add to your play dough. Have fun.
- Plain flour – 2 cups
- Water – 1 cup
- Salt – ¼ cup
- Vegetable oil – 1 tablespoon
- Food colouring or paint (It helps to add this to the cup of water)
- Add everything together into a large bowl and stir well with a spoon until it turns into a soft dough.
- If the mixture is too sticky add some more flour. If it’s too dry add some more water.
- Empty the play dough onto a floured surface and mix together with your hands.
Bottle top blaster
- Ask an adult to help you cut the top from a plastic bottle and then attach a balloon where the lid would normally be.
- Put a pompom into the bottle funnel.
- Hold the bottle funnel with one hand and pull the balloon back hard with your other hand.
- Let go of the balloon and your pompom will shoot out. How far can your missile travel?
- Why not rip or cut some paper to stick on to decorate your bottle top blaster.
Fill a tray with rice, or spread a thin layer of shaving foam or salt on a worktop or old baking tray. Try different items to draw, write or make patterns with such as your fingertip, twig, lollipop stick or paper straw.
Rice RacePut three small empty bowls on a table. Divide a handful of uncooked rice into two of the bowls, leaving the middle one empty. Have a race with someone from home to find out who can be the first to empty their bowl using a teaspoon to put their rice into the middle empty bowl. Try using your left hand and your right hand.
Activities such as jigsaws, building with Lego or playing with loose parts are also great ways to help develop your fine motor skills. Collect a variety of small loose parts from around your home such as buttons, dried pasta, beads, coins or bottle lids. Experiment with making shapes or patterns with your loose parts or perhaps you could make some pictures, or build towers.
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