ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Play To Learn: Fine Motor Fun Part 1

Monday, April 12, 2010

Play To Learn: Fine Motor Fun Part 1

Welcome to our First Play To Learn post! Today we’ll be talking about how to incorporate Fine Motor Skills into learning, and best of all it will be easy and fun! So without any further ado, here are some ideas to help you change a hum drum routine into fabulous fun and work those fine motor skills at the same time!

Biggie Beads by Fun Fusion!

We have the original Perler Beads, but this is a new variation for smaller children who can’t quite manipulate the tiny ones. You can iron your finished design just like the regular ones, and they are perfect to use as counters, color sorting, and patterns! They’re just the right size for my 4 year old, and great for fine-muscle practice! I also had her try this using tweezers to grab the beads.


Toot and Otto:

An new take on the “Connect Four” game! There are several ways to play.

  1. Each person gets a letter and whoever gets 4 of their tiles in a row wins!
  2. Drop all the tiles in and see how many ‘TOOT’s” and how many “OTTO’s” you can find.
  3. Play alone, making a pattern with the tiles!
This game is a blessing in disguise as it works patterning skills, reading & phonic skills, all the while working on fine motor coordination skills as it takes a steady hand to get the small tiles into the slits along the top.


    Marble balancing:

    This is one of our favorite activities to work on fine motor coordination. I chose to do it in the workbox because otherwise we’d have marbles rolling all over! Using a piece of Styrofoam, simply push golf tees into the foam, then balance different sized marbles on the tops!


    Here’s another variation of the above game. I found these wooden games in the dollar section at Michaels! (I think they were actually $5 though). They are come in several shapes, and she had fun putting all the tees in the holes, then we balanced pom-poms on the tops. The good news about these, is you can use them as logic puzzles for your older kids!


    Sticker Fun!

    We use any tracing worksheets we can find and place tiny stickers along the edges. You can read more and download worksheets here.


    Scissor Skills:

    This is a great way to work fine motor skills and kids LOVE to cut! I have cutting worksheets on my blog for each letter, but we started off with plain strips of construction paper. I drew lines on the strips with a sharpie and she cut along the lines. Check out more scissor tips and ideas in this ABC and 123 Scissor Post!


    Number Dot Cards:

    These counting cards are a great way to practice counting while at the same time working fine motor skills! Simply use a fun manipulative like mini-clothespins or some tweezers with pom-poms and place the correct number on each card. You can also use dry-erase marker to trace the numbers, or put little stickers on each dot. If you laminate the cards, the stickers should come off fairly easily making them re-usable!


    Chopsticks and Pom-Poms

    I found these kids chopsticks at PF Chang’s restaurant. The waiter was kind enough to give me new sets to take home! They’re great for transferring activities. I had her use them to sort these pom-poms by size, but you could use them with just about any manipulative you have. Variation: If you don’t have these handy chopsticks, use tweezers!


    Letter bead lacing:

    I found these letters at Lakeshore Learning but you can also just get any kind of beads from a local craft store. This is a great way to work on fine muscle control as you lace each small item onto the string. I typically use this to practice our letters, so I’ll give her a letter to find and string on so that we can make a word. After looking at the word she’ll finish lacing as many as she can fit on her string.


    Those are just some of the ideas for fine motor skill fun! Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of our Fine motor Fun post with more great ideas!

    If you have more ideas to share, or would like to be included in future “Play To Learn” posts, please email me at homeschoolerconfessions {at} gmail {dot} com, we’d love to hear from you!



    1. What great ideas! I haven't really worked on fine motor.

    2. What a great collection of fine motor skill activities!!!

    3. Lots of great ideas! We have the little wooden games and I never thought of doing that with them.

    4. Erica! This is an awesome round up of fine motor activities! Thank you for sharing your ideas with our readers!

    5. I just ordered the perler beads for my guy for his birthday. I had bought the little ones for him and he gets too frustrated and always wants me to finish his creation. I hope he loves the big ones.

    6. these are great ideas! definitely going to try the stickers/worksheet.

    7. I love the idea of balancing the marbles, I am a 3-5 Montessori teacher and I am always trying to find new and interesting ideas for fine motor activities. Thank you!

    8. I have used several of these ideas. They are great. I used the sticker one for the shapes and then had my kiddos cut them out as the line to follow. They thought it was great!