Kids With Special Needs, School Life

40 Fine Motor Skills Activities

For Learning and For Fun!


One of the most important ways we can help our children while playing with them at home or in a childcare/ classroom setting is through setting up simple activities that help to develop fine motor skills. Young children need to be able to hold and use scissors and pencils appropriately before using them in a classroom context. We cannot expect them to be able to write if they haven’t yet developed the strength needed in their hands and fingers.

There are plenty of easy ways to strengthen these muscles, practise co-ordination and develop hand:eye co-ordination using simple, everyday materials and a bit of creative fun! Here is a collection of 40 fine motor skills activities for young children that are easy to set up and promote a whole range of skills. They’re creative, open-ended, appropriate and varied with ideas for practicing motor skills through art, sensory play and simple manipulative games, and there are so many to choose from! There are a million variations you could make from each of these to cater for your own child’s particular interests and learning dispositions.

Threading with beads onto pipe cleaners

beads and pipe cleaners threading

Threading, posting and slotting toys for babies and toddlers


Poking straws into holes

straws discovery box

Pasta necklaces

Rainbow threading necklaces

Monster play dough

Monster play dough

Weaving around cardboard

Weaving on cardboard shapes

Fairy sparkle playdough

Fairy play dough activity

Pipe cleaners and colanders

Pipe cleaners discovery box

Beads on spaghetti


Hair rollers sticky construction


First sewing basket

Sewing with ribbons

Edible fingerpainting


Making marks in fairy dust


Decorating play dough eggs


Mark making and scooping in lavender sensory salt

Lavender sensory salt

Building 3D models


Sorting and pattern making with shells


Patterning with lego


Lid posting game


Snipping and doodling sticky stained glass windows

stained glass windows

Whisking up coloured sensory soap 

whisking coloured soap

Salt dough alphabet modelling

salt dough initials

Pebble sorting

Pebbles discovery box

Stacking cups


Play dough cupcakes

playdough cupcakes

Foam and water window art

Foam window murals

Pom pom drop game


Painting with water


Finger paint mono-printing

finger printing

Matching lids game


Painting with Q-tips


Tape resist paintings


Tinkering with wires and loose parts in play dough


Grinding coffee beans

Grinding coffee

Sorting coloured chips in egg cartons


Tearing and sticking collage

Rainbow collage activity

Paper bag weaving 

paper bag weaving

Sticker and felt collage

sticking activity

Source: The Imagination Tree


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