Fine Motor Learn and Play


Looking for some activities that help build fine motor skills? I’ve put together this list of hands-on preschool activities that are perfect for building those tiny hand muscles!

Take a peek at these engaging fine motor activities and have fun learning and playing alongside your child.

I love finding ways to tie in fine motor practice to our daily learning activities and want to share how you can easily do it too!

Pasta Threading

This activity is a favorite in our house and can be set up in two minutes! Simply set out Play-Doh, spaghetti noodles, and various items for threading (buttons, beads, pasta, etc.). Help your child create a Play-Doh base and add a spaghetti pasta noodle. Invite your child to thread various items onto the noodle. Such a fun way to get creative and build those hand muscles.


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Clothespin Name Clip

Whenever possible I like to add clothespins to activities! Why? Because the way you hold a clothespin and squeeze them to open/close them really works those hand muscles. This fun clothespin name activity is not only a great fine motor activity but also such a fun way to get in some name practice!


Clothespin Clip

Speaking of clothespins if you just want an engaging way to work on how to use them grab a basket and some clips for some simple fine motor practice!


Count and Punch

I don’t know what it is about hole punchers, but kids love using them! Add them to simple counting activities like this count and punch activity here or simply set them out in craft trays so littles can grab and use them.

The hole puncher pictured below is great for little hands as well as this reduced effort hole punch that makes it easy for kids to squeeze!


Fine Motor Straws

Did you know you can cut and thread straws? I love this fine motor setup because it is so inviting! Simple grab a foam block, stick a few pipe cleaners out of it, and pair it with some cut straws for threading! This is also such a fun way for getting in some color sorting practice.

Read more about this activity here: Fine Motor Straw Fun!


Dot Marker Activities

Another awesome way I like to add fine motor practice to activities is to you use dot markers! I absolutely love Do-A-Dot Art Markers but any bing dauber style markers work. These chunky dot markers are great for preschoolers’ hands and encourage hand-eye coordination.

Below is an example of a super simple name activity that you can do today! Simply write your child’s name on a sheet of paper and have them go over the lines with dot markers. *Also working on vertical surfaces builds shoulder/elbow stability and helps with wrist/pencil grasp.


Simple Cutting Basket

Did you know working on scissor skills also improves fine motor skills? One of my favorite ways to encourage scissor skills practice is to set up a simple cutting basket!

For this setup simply grab a bin and fill it with various items to cut. Sturdier items like cut paper towel rolls, cardstock, and straws are easier for kids who are just starting to learn to cut. I also like to include Play-Doh, prep cleaners, and make some simple snip line sheets.


Just add TONGS!

Adding tongs and small manipulative to an activity is a great way to strengthen those tiny hand muscles. For example in the activity below I set out a basket of pom-poms and a pair of tongs to encourage my little to use her fine motor skills to create a letter!



Here is another activity example using tongs/tweezers to learn and play! For this one set out number blocks or number cards and ask your child to represent each number with pom-poms. Have them use tongs or tweezers to pick and count the poms.


Scoop and Transfer

If you have a little one who loves water activities you have to give this scoop and transfer activity a try! You can read all about it and how to tie in some subtilizing counting practice in this post!


Dot Sticker Activities

Grab your dot stickers (or really any stickers) and add them to all the activities to easily add in some fine motor skills practice! As your child works to peel off the stickers they are building those muscles.

Here is an example of a simple sticker lines activity. For this one draw various lines on paper and pair withs tickers for your child to add to the lines. I love adding this activity to our out and about bag for quick pull outs at restaurants or appointments.

Check out our favorite full page of dot stickers!


Play-Doh Play

Kids love Play-Doh play and it is great for building hand strength. Set it out just for play and watch them get creative or tie in some early learning skills for added fun.

Related Post: Easy Homemade Play Dough Recipe


Here is a fun way to tie in some letter and name recognition practice using play dough! You can have your child roll and form various letters and numbers using play dough. You can also roll Play-Doh flat and have your child using a writing tool to write in it! Add some small objects like beads or mini erasers for added practice.


Spray Bottle Fun

Spray bottles are all the rage in our house! I have a few added to our outdoor bin just for fun and it keeps my girls busy for a LONG TIME! They run around the backyard squeezing and playing! Just picture the squeezing hand motion a child needs to use to make these bottles work and you know they are strengthening those hand muscles or future writing practice!

Looking for a fun learning activity that uses spray bottles? Check out this spray and reveal activity. Write letters on a sheet of paper with white crayon then give your child a spray bottle filled with dyed water (use food dye)to spray over the paper and reveal the letters!


Bead Threading

Ready to make some bracelets? Not only is this activity fun and engaging but it is an easy way to work on fine motor skills. For this activity set out beads or cut straws and pipe cleaners and invite your child to make bracelets!

threading - beads

So what do you think? Are you ready for your child to build fine motor skills while they play and learn?

Looking for even more ideas? Download this FREE SIMPLE FINE MOTOR IDEAS LIST and have fun learning and playing every day!

Which fine motor activity is your favorite or two will you tie in some of these ideas to your learning?

Kelly McFarland

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