Skip To Main Content

Home Activities to Improve Fine Motor Skill Development

Young children learning to write benefit from experiences that support the development of fine motor skills in the hands and fingers. Children should have strength and dexterity in their hands and fingers before being asked to manipulate a pencil on paper. Here are some fun activities children can do at home to develop these important skills. Fine Motor Activities The following activities involve the use of manipulatives to support young children's fine motor development and will help to build the strength and dexterity necessary to hold a pencil appropriately. 1. Mold and roll Play-Doh® into balls—using the palms of the hands facing each other and with fingers curled slightly towards the palm. 2. Roll Play-Doh® into tiny balls (peas) using only the fingertips. 3. Use pegs or toothpicks to make designs in Play-Doh®. 4. Cut Play-Doh® with a plastic knife or with a pizza or tracing wheel by holding the implement in a diagonal grasp. 5. Tear newspaper into strips and then crumple them into balls. Use the balls of paper as stuffing for scarecrows, puppets, or other art projects. 6. Scrunch up one (1) sheet of newspaper in one hand—great for building strength! 7. Pick up objects using large tweezers such as those found in the Bed Bugs® game. This can be adapted by picking up Cheerios®, small cubes, small marshmallows, pennies, etc., in counting games. 8. Shake dice by cupping the hands together, forming an empty air space between the palms. 9. Use small-sized screwdrivers like those found in an erector set. 10. Use lacing and sewing activities such as stringing beads, Cheerios®, macaroni, etc. Also, if available, plastic-coated string—S’getti String®—works great with cut up drinking straws. 11. Use eye droppers to "pick up" colored water for color mixing or to make artistic designs on paper. Turn coffee filters into an art project! 12. Roll small balls out of tissue paper, and then glue the balls onto construction paper to form pictures or designs. 13. Attempt to turn over cards, coins, checkers, or buttons, without bringing them to the edge of the table. 14. Make pictures using stickers or self-sticking paper (O) reinforcements. 15. Play games with the "puppet fingers"—thumb, index, and middle fingers. At circle time, have each child's puppet fingers tell about what happened over the weekend or use puppet fingers in songs and finger plays.