Working on fine motor skills is a continuous process that lasts well into a child’s school-age years. Fine motor skills activities for preschoolers can become more fun and interactive for both the toddlers and the adults helping them. The activities can be made to be more helpful to develop motor skills as well as the child’s thinking and reasoning skills.
Try to find the right balance between activities that help kids feel confident, but also challenged. Here are a few examples of fun and productive fine motor skills activities that do just that.
Include children in picking up real or fake coins and stacking them in small piles. Make one stack with pennies, another one with dimes, and so on until you’ve sorted all the coins. Then it’s piggy bank time! It doesn’t have to be a traditional-looking piggy bank. There are plenty of distinctive coin holders out there (or you could make your own). Next, work with the child in dropping them into the bank. This type of activity is good for fine motor skills as well as to develop some basic math. You can start with larger coins and then work on smaller coins that can be more challenging. This is one activity that can help with coordination and fine motor development.
Anything to do with painting, sculpting, cutting, and drawing is always a hit with children of all ages, including preschoolers. Once they reach preschool age, there will be a noticeable difference in their enthusiasm. Part of the reason for this is because they can recognize the fruits of their labor a little better. Spending time cutting colored paper to look like flower petals and then attaching them to a straw to resemble a real flower can be an exhilarating experience for the young ones. The different skills included in holding scissors, drawing with a pencil or crayon, and placing each shape to create something creative is a fine motor activity that preschoolers love.
There are safe scissors made of plastic that can be used and the combination of drawing patterns and cutting them is an amazing exercise in fine motor skills, not to mention, fun. What all these activities have in common is that their fine motor development is improving with various activities without them even realizing it.
Pick-up-sticks and puzzles
Since pick-up-sticks requires a good amount of focus and dexterity, this game is an excellent brain as well as a fine motor skill activity for preschoolers. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about competition, especially if the child is shy or afraid of losing. The game can always be introduced as just a fun activity.
Putting together puzzles is another way a preschooler can develop not only fine motor skills but problem-solving skills as well. Since this activity calls for recognizing different shapes and thinking outside the box, the preschooler will feel a real sense of accomplishment when the project is done.
Keep in mind
Not all children develop physically and cognitively in the same way or at the same speed. If you’re curious about development milestones for preschoolers, the American Academy of Pediatrics has guidance on what you should (or shouldn’t) expect from kids aged 3 to five years old.