My fine motor skills kit includes lots of manipulatives that help children improve muscle control on the same muscles that are used in writing, cutting, etc. It is similar to many of the things that they show here. It has: spray bottles, squeeze bottles, tweezers & pompom balls or cotton balls, clothes pins and small plastic baskets, modeling clay, medicine droppers, etc. Nuts and bolts to screw in are a great thing to add to it. I found some yesterday at Discount School Supply that come in different sizes, shapes, and colors, so they can practice sorting them and then screwing them together! It’s great practice to peel and place stickers, too. Try opening and closing padlocks, use a wrench, sort beads or marbles with a tweezer. You can cut a bath mat into squares and have them put marbles in the depressions with a tweezer or tongs, too. My kids LOVED to use turkey basters to transfer water from one container to another, especially colored water. I also had them watering plants with an eye dropper! (You would think that they would complain!!!) Get a piggy bank and have them put money into the slots. A jar with a piece of the lid cut out will work, too.
You can combine language arts skills with fine motor improvement by putting letters on clothespins, and making words with them. Unifix with letters or numbers written on them with a permanent marker can also be snapped together in order. Snap beads are good for them, too. I also put my kids to work trying to remove masking tape from our carpet with tweezers. I have also collected a bunch of wind up toys that are really fun to play with. It helps develop the pincher grasp when they wind them up. I used these as their “reward” when they did the other things! Little did they know that they were STILL working on their fine motor skills! This website has lots of pictures of activities that promote fine motor skills: www.monthome.com.
I did most of these activities in an after school tutoring group, but as I thought about it more, I realized that if I combined math or language arts activities with the fine motor activities, I was killing two birds with one stone. They could count out objects by using tongs instead of a tweezer, for example. You could sort them, add them, or subtract them, too. Just manipulate things using tongs or tweezers, etc., instead of the fingers. Making words or letters out of playdough works, too! And you could measure how far a wind up toy goes as well. I’ll bet that once you start thinking about this, you can all come up with gobs of great activities.
Here’s the Cutting Song from our Classroom Management DVD!
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