Fine Motor Skills

Fine Motor Skills Activities

Paper is a great tool!

This activity is a great way to get rid of scraps of paper that have already have marks or writing on them. Demonstrate how to tear or rip the paper into strips or squares. Children love to experiment, so let them see what happens as they tear the paper into different shapes. This activity is great for children not yet able to manipulate scissors.

If your child is ready for cutting, allow them to snip the paper into pieces. As they practice random cutting, they will develop a more steady hand to cut on lines.

Play Dough

Buy or make a supply to have on hand. Clear off a table. Show children how to roll and shape the play dough. Use dull scissors to snip a roll of play dough into sections. Let the children get creative. The process of rolling the play dough is more important than the end result. As they roll the dough and move their hands they build the small muscles essential to fine motor control. Stick small objects into the play dough for your child to find and pull out. Play dough play with young children with the terms: poke, squeeze, pound, press, knead, etc. is always good for language too.

Clothes pegs

Recycle wide mouth containers (Like an ice-cream bucket) and fill them full of the clothes pegs. Children attach the pegs around the mouth of the container. Another possible activity is to attach and remove the clothes pegs from the bottom of a wire hanger. This activity uses the muscles of the first finger and thumb that are used when writing.


Make your own lacing cards by cutting apart a cereal box and punching holes in a pattern. Use sturdy boot laces or heavy yarn with wax or tape on the end to prevent it from unravelling. This activity will help with coordinating vision and motor skills.

More ideas for fine motor training… •Crumple paper in a small ball and then flick it with the finger (play “soccer” with the paper ball) •Shuffle cards, deal cards one by one, turn cards over. •Roll a pencil between thumb and fingers without dropping it •Use tweezers to pick up small objects •Do up buttons, zippers, hooks, etc. •Tie shoelaces •Trace and copy letters •Do connect the dot puzzles •Solve mazes •Tie a box with string or ribbon •Put paper clips onto paper •Colour using the flat side of a crayon. Put paper over leaves, stencils, and other objects so that the child gets sensory feedback as he colours. •Use sprayer bottles filled with water and sponges to have the child “clean” a desk or table, then squeeze the excess water into a dishpan. This is a great pre-scissor skill activity. •Use tweezers to pick up different items and sort into egg cartons.