Teaching Tuesdays: Building Fine Motor Skills

Fine Motor skills are an important part of every child’s development. These skills assist in every day activities such as printing, dressing, eating, and more. 
Fine motor skills are also referred to as Manual Dexterity, and is the coordination of small muscle movements  usually in coordination with the eyes. 

These are skills that most parents don’t even think about, they just come along. But what do you do if they don’t?
What happens when your child is ready for school entry, and still can’t button or zip a jacket? Or has trouble with the “pincer grasp?”
I have been faced with this dilema 3 times. Little P and Little S both have struggles with their fine motor development, and now Little C is following in their footsteps. When Little P was starting Kindergarten, he detested coloring so much he would scribble the page and then yell “done!”
I learned from that, and began looking up activities when Little S started showing the same delays.
I have learned some ways to help your Preschooler develop these crucial skills:

  • Play Doh. There are so many things to do with Play Doh. Roll it into balls, use tooth picks to make designs, make “spaghetti” and other play food, the options are endless! The best part is you can make your own, or get it at the dollar store. 
  • Coloring. Try to find pictures that interest your child. Coloring on an easel is especially good at strengthening the hand muscles. 
  • Scissor activities. If need be, you can find spring loaded scissors. This can make it easier for children with weaker hand muscles.
  • Connect the dots
  • Lace up books
  • String beads on a pipe cleaner or sting. You can make a necklace or bracelet for someone special to keep it exciting!
  • Tweezers can be used in many ways, use them to pick up beads, cotton balls,  or play the classic Operation board game
  • Use eye droppers to “pick up” water. Use food coloring to make different colors of water, and experiment with the mixtures
  • Puzzles
  • Playing with Legos
The most important thing is to find what interests your child, and stay consistant. If something is hard, most children will try to quit. The reward is great, and all good things are worth working for. 


  1. This is a great list of fine motor activities. My son loves to do so many activities that are listed here, with the exception of using the scissors. He would love to use them, but I still think he’s a little young. He got a hold of a pair and he cut into my curtains ;)

  2. wow how cool is that my little brother loves these things

  3. These are great ideas. I am working on “homeschooling” activities with my 2 year-old and am always looking for ideas!

  4. These are great ideas, and the sooner you can start doing these things with your kids the better! I am a PreK teacher, and it kills me when I get students that have literally never used a pencil or crayons before at 4 years old. Great list!

  5. I was homeschooled but not at a young age. My daughter is only 2 so I haven’t done too many advanced activities, but we do play-doh, coloring books, puzzles, legos, all that stuff. I am going to do the lace up book here soon since that is awesome to have children do at a young age. My daughter has great small motor skills, so some of these that you have listed will be awesome to do during winter time this year. Thanks! (lilbittypanda at aol dot com)

  6. Yes cutting, writing, taping, glue scizzors, drawing, coloring!!

  7. I’m a Sunday school teacher for really young kids. I’ve been incorporating these elements in our class craft to help them develop motor skills especially stringing or weaving paper, joining dots and colouring. I’m running out of ideas lately. LOL. I’ll have to try the tweezer game. They would be so excited!

  8. Thank you so much for all these ideas! We love doing play-doh & Legos in our home :)

  9. This is a great list! We already know that we’ll be homeschooling when we have kids, so it’s nice that you have some resources to share.


  1. […] of the things we are working on with Little C is her Fine Motor Skills. All those muscles in her hands are crucial in activities as she grows. Her Occupational Therapist […]

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