Develop Fine Motor Skills in Preschoolers



Develop Fine Motor Skills in Preschoolers
Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers
Provided by: Joann Sorg, MS, OTR/L [email protected]
Separation of Sides of the Hand
Promotes strength & coordination for tripod grasp
 Squeeze the trigger of a small spray bottle with the thumb and first
1-2 fingers, while holding the bottle with the ring and pinky fingers of
the same hand. Play with squirt guns.
 Pick up pennies one at a time, “squirreling “ or moving them to hide
under the ring and pinky fingers. Release them one at a time into a
piggy bank
 Pop bubble wrap
 Roll tiny balls of material: playdoh, tissue paper, clay, using the tips
of the thumb, index and middle fingers
 Use tweezers, tongs, strawberry hullers or attached chopsticks to
play games. Roll dice and use your tool to pick up that number of
cotton balls or small action figures. Play Operation or Bed Bugs.
Develop Small Muscles of the Hand
 Decorate cards or paper with fun rubber stamps and ink pads
 Play with playdoh or modeling clay- molding it, squeezing it, pinching it,
rolling it and stretching it
 Use cookie cutters to make cookies or to play with playdoh
 Use a nut cracker to open nuts or a garlic press to play with playdoh
 Wring out wet clothes, wash clothes or sponges
 Make crafts involving folding paper- paper airplanes, cards, tissue
paper flowers, fans, paper hats.
 Play with Legos
Improve Wrist Stability
 Work at a vertical surface, above eye level: draw or color on a wipe
board or chalkboard, tape coloring pages to the wall, play magnetic
games on the fridge
 Paint on an easel
 Draw shapes in the air with a flashlight
 Draw on the tub wall with soap foam or shaving cream
 Use a rolling pin to roll out playdoh, cookie dough or clay
 Play with Light Bright
Crawl on all fours, do “bear walks” or wheelbarrow walks to move
through a simple obstacle course. For example, bear walks around the
table, crab walks between the couch cushions, and wheel barrow walks
to the couch.
Develop Arches of the Hand
 Cut modeling clay or playdoh with plastic knife
 Use a toy pizza cutting wheel to cut clay or playdoh
 Make meatballs or roll playdoh into large (palm sized) balls
 Play dice games (shake dice in cupped hand). Shake, shake, shake,
Thumb and Index Opposition
 Close up Ziploc baggies
 Put Legos together
 Play with small wind-up toys, Sparkling Wheel, or squeezable toys
 Play with eye-droppers and colored water. Make designs with
colored water on papertowels or coffee filters
 Write with only small pieces of chalk or crayon (no more than
 Rip firm paper (construction paper, light cardboard, envelopes, etc)
or newspaper to use for paper mache, or just for stress relief
Pre-Writing & Drawing
Start big with coloring, free drawing, painting on easels or vertical
Do simple mazes/paths on large paper. Try S and Z shape paths with
clear starting/stopping points. Make the paths 2-3” wide. Do each
path 5-10 times, using a different color crayon each turn.
Play Tic Tac Toe. Use O’s and +’s if X is too difficult

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