Developing fine motor skills is a big part of getting your child ready for kindergarten, where they will be expected to spend the year learning to print neatly! Fortunately, there are plenty of fun ways to help your child develop the kindergarten readiness fine motor skills they need to excel! Today I am sharing some fine motor skill building activities my children enjoy!
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Playing with malleable materials like play dough gives your child the strength they need to develop their fine motor skills! I shared some of my favorite play dough tools here, but kitchen utensils work beautifully! Stamping is a fun way to get kids looking at play dough in a new way ! My kids also enjoy making accessories for their small toys, setting up play dough bakeries, and combining play dough with unusual materials such as rocks, googley eyes, and even kleenex! We repurposed a water table into a sensory table, and my kids really enjoy exploring different materials this way!
Sewing is a great fine motor activity for kids, and my four-year-old adores our rainbow loom! You can start kids off sewing on paper or felt – both are very child-friendly materials, and can be sewn using a blunt tip embroidery needle (always supervise kids with needles, whether they have sharp or blunt ends!) The popular rainbow looms are also great at building fine motor skills! I bought a few imitation looms before deciding that this is one case where paying for the brand name version is worth the money! My kids find the mini looms easier to work with than the full-size version.
Any craft activity builds fine motor skills – painting, drawing, arranging leaves in patterns, cutting, and gluing – so feel free to gravitate towards the activities that you and your child enjoy best!
Toys, Games, and Puzzles
Long-time readers of this blog know that I adore LEGO sets! Kindergarten-aged children are often getting old for DUPLO sets but too young for traditional LEGO sets, so I was thrilled to find out that LEGO released a LEGO Juniors line that is perfect for this in-between stage! I also recommend pattern blocks (which we often use with play dough and as a sensory activity) and Magna-Tiles. We aren’t a big game family, but my kids really enjoy Spot It Junior and Rush Hour Junior. They also enjoy playing with Travel Scrabble (only my eight-year-old plays the game properly, but it’s fun fine motor practice and letter recognition for younger kids). With all of these toys and games, kids are learning while they play – beyond simply developing fine motor skills.
Kids focus best on fine motor skills when they are not under pressure! My kids really enjoy listening to a book on tape while they craft, or simply sitting around the table crafting, playing a game, or playing with play dough while we chat. Sometimes we describe what we are working on, sometimes we explore whimsical what-ifs, and sometimes my kids talk to me about things that have been on their minds. It makes for wonderful mellow family time, and is great for parent-child bonding!
What fine motor skills developing activities have your kids enjoyed?
This post is the fifth in this year’s Get Ready for Kindergarten Through Play series! Here are some great ideas from my co-hosts for this series, and clicking on the button above will take you to the links from my blog for both last year and this year!