Five Activities for Strengthening Fine Motor Muscles
Strengthening fine motor muscles helps a child succeed more easily with activities involving small muscles – specifically the hands. These five motor activities help enhance the development of the hand muscles with strength, coordination, and specific movement; subsequently enabling functions such as holding a pencil, writing, grasping objects, and manipulating objects. Most of these items you will find around the house. It doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive to increase success! You can take these activities anywhere, from the front porch to the car. My favourite is #5!
- Clothes Pin and Cotton Ball Scatter
You need: clothes pins, cotton balls, tray, egg carton
Activity: Scatter cotton balls on a tray. Using the clothes pins, pick up the cotton balls, and place into the egg cartons. Try alternating from one hand to the other. It’s that easy!
- Button Sorting
You need: an assortment of buttons, muffin tin (it makes a nice ‘plink’ sound)
Activity: Picking up buttons and sorting into colours, sizes, and number of holes. It’s fun to make up stories about where each button has traveled…perhaps a potato farm, a strawberry patch, or a rodeo!
- Board Games
You need: your old board games
Activity: Moving the men around the board and rolling the dice. This activity gives a child so much more… counting, taking turns, and learning to be joyful with a second or third place finish!
You need: children’s scissors, grocery store flyers, old wallpaper books, or an old phone book
Activity: Cut foods from flyer and sort into five food groups (milk and dairy, vegetable and fruit, grain products, meat and alternatives, and lastly the “sometimes a treat” group). Use the wallpaper to draw thick, straight, curvy, and eventually zigzag lines on the back side for cutting. Use the phone book and cut the pages into strips.
- Nuts and Bolts… my favourite! Great activity while reading aloud or sitting in a restaurant.
You need: an assortment of (large, small, and eventually tiny) nuts, washers, and bolts, metal cookie tin
Activity: Place washers onto bolt and screw on appropriate nut. Start with a few nuts and bolts and gradually add more and more.
Carolyn j Morris
Carolyn’s country roots began on the farm. She is a faithful member of her church and lives with her family in Beeton. Carolyn has taught in both Toronto and the rural communities for 30 years. Carolyn j Morris’ books show respect for rural living, farm life, and family values.