Kids and teachers both love these fine motor activities for preschoolers! It takes a lot of practice and strengthening to master fine motor skills, but luckily these learning activities are so fun that kids don’t even know they are “at work.” Check out the full list below and have your kiddos get to work, or rather, to play!
As a preschool teacher or parent, you probably hear and use the term fine motor skills on a regular basis. But what exactly are these fine motor skills, and why are they so important?
What are Fine Motor Skills?
Simply defined, fine motor skills are the coordination of the small muscles that control the hand, fingers, and thumb. They include movements like grasping and pinching. Developing fine motor skills is vital in young kids as they are the foundation of many activities including writing, drawing, cutting, grasping, buttoning, tying laces, zipping, and even using utensils.
As adults, it’s easy to take these fine motor skills for granted. However, we can’t underestimate the importance of strengthening those little muscles and helping young kids develop the skills that are important in all areas of their lives.
Another wonderful way to work on fine motor skills is through sign language, particularly the ASL alphabet. Enter your e-mail below to get this free ASL alphabet poster! It’s perfect to print and hang in your home or classroom. The hands are pictured in four different skin tones.
Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers
Fine Motor Busy Bags
Busy bags are ready-to-go bags or boxes that include simple, engaging activities that young kids can do independently, anytime, anywhere. They are an integral part of early childhood education because they allow for independent skill practice which helps boost confidence and autonomy.
Brown Bear Lacing Busy Bag – Preschool Inspirations
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? I see adorable lacing cards just waiting for me! That’s right – this activity brings a beloved children’s book to life with darling lacing cards. A fun way to integrate literacy with fine motor activities for preschoolers!
Rainbow Sight Words – Preschool Inspirations
This is a rainbow-tastic literacy activity for fine motor skills. It’s always exciting when we can make sight word practice fun and hands-on. This activity does just that, while also developing hand-eye coordination.
Rainbow Fine Motor Sensory Bin – How Wee Learn
If you’re looking for a sensory bin that is bright, engaging, and helps build fine motor skills, look no further! With colorful buttons, plastic eggs, and pipe cleaners, you may keep those little hands playing for hours! The perfectly fun way to help prep those hands for writing.
Fine Motor Practice with Buttons – Coffee Cups and Crayons
Playdough is probably one of the most popular fine motor activities for preschool. This activity takes it to the next level by adding some dry spaghetti and buttons to work on threading. You can even add in some math applications with counting, patterns, and sorting.
The pincer grasp is defined as the coordination of the index finger and thumb to hold an object. It’s extremely important in a child’s development and is crucial for several activities, including (but not limited to) buttoning, zipping, eating with utensils, and holding/controlling a pencil.
Apple Sorting Activity – Preschool Inspirations
This adorable sorting activity is chock full of fine motor fun! Tracing, cutting, and sorting, oh my! Those little hands are going to get quite the fine motor workout, and may just sneak a few yummy fruit loops while they are at it!
Rainbow Name Tracing Activity – Preschool Inspirations
In this fine motor activity for preschool, your kiddos get to practice something that is of great value to them- their names! Kids generally love anything that has their name involved. As an added bonus, the colorful dot stickers are an amazing way for kiddos to strengthen their small hand muscles, which of course, promotes fine motor development. Win, win!
Fall Alphabet – Preschool Inspirations
This fine motor activity for preschool has a fun fall focus, but can be adapted for any season or theme! The large wooden letters make a great sturdy base for the kids to practice letter recognition and formation. You can get the fun fall acrylics (or any variety of acrylics based on seasonal needs) at the dollar store, Target, or online.
Strengthen Fine Motor Skills with Water – Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
When you incorporate water into your fine motor practice, it is sure to be a hit! Young kids love using pipettes and water and they don’t even know that it’s an amazing exercise in hand-eye coordination. Win-win!
Fine Motor Activity with Beads – Toddler Approved
Beads make such fun fine motor activities. Kids will adore taking their beading to a new level while matching colors and decorating rainbow hair! It’s great for kids to work on different-sized pincer grips, which can easily be done in this activity by simply changing up the size of your beads.
Cardboard Roll Letter Match – Taming the Monsters
This fine motor activity for preschool literally only requires three items, all of which you most likely already have on hand! Just grab a sharpie, toilet paper roll (or cardboard craft tube), and some dot stickers. Take a few minutes to prep it and you’ve got a fine motor literacy activity ready to roll!
Scissor Skills Activities
We all know that scissor skills are extremely important, but do we specifically know why? There are so many reasons, including: strengthening little hand muscles, developing visual motor skills (eye-hand coordination), increasing bilateral coordination (using both sides of the body at the same time), developing the important tripod grasp, and building focus and attention to tasks and details.
Scissor Skill Artwork Practice – Preschool Inspirations
When you think of fine motor activities for preschool, I’m sure scissor skills pop in your head immediately. As you know, learning to use scissors can be quite a tricky task for those little hands. Having this station in your classroom is truly a genius idea for cutting practice and a way to use recycled artwork from your kiddos.
Open-Ended Fine Motor Practice – Preschool Inspirations
How beautiful is it to see open-ended learning at work in a preschool classroom? This fine motor activity table for preschoolers is truly phenomenal. Some young kiddos can be very hesitant to work on the traditional “cut on the line on paper” practice and this activity table allows them to cut all kinds of materials at will which keep them engaged and truly learning and developing all those important scissor skills!
Cutting Practice – Days with Grey
When it comes to fine motor activities for preschoolers, there’s nothing quite like a game of Trap, Cut, and Rescue! Your kiddos won’t even realize they are doing scissors practice, as they will be completely focused on one mission – rescue the bears!
Rainbow Confetti – Play to Learn Preschool
Fine motor activities for preschoolers can be a rainbow of confetti fun! This simple activity incorporates two major fine motor skills along with color recognition, sorting, and letter recognition practice. Make your kiddos’ fine motor practice a confetti-filled party!
Fine Motor Skills Activities
Fine motor skills are the coordination of the small muscles that control the hand, fingers, and thumb. They help children perform important tasks such as writing, drawing, buttoning, zipping, grasping items like toys and utensils, and so much more!
Fingerplays – Preschool Inspirations
Fingerplays are a fantastically fun way to practice fine motor activities for toddlers and preschoolers. They tie in so many other essential skills such as body awareness, listening skills, and vocabulary development. The best part is that you don’t need any materials (unless you want to incorporate some finger puppets, of course!) and they can be done anytime, anywhere.
Preschool Rainbow Craft – Preschool Inspirations
Somewhere over the rainbow, you will find this amazing fine motor activity for preschool. The kiddos need to shape the pipe cleaners, which gets in some excellent and fun fine motor practice. This activity arrives just in time for all those spring rainbows!
Paper Plate Apple Lacing Activity – Preschool Inspirations
When planning your fine motor activities for preschoolers, lacing activities should be high on the list. Lacing is excellent for fine motor, hand-eye coordination, and focusing on a task. Bonus – you probably already have most of the necessary supplies on hand!
Fine Motor Number Challenge – Fun-A-Day
Fine motor activities for preschoolers just aren’t complete without some tongs mixed in! They are such a beloved part of fine motor practice and so good for the kids as they manipulate this tool. Check out this fun activity which uses the tongs, wooden spools, and organically allows for practice with one-to-one correspondence.
Egg Carton Geoboard – And Next Comes L
What do you get when you flip over an egg carton and grab some rubber bands? Well, an easy homemade geoboard, of course! Don’t we all just love ideas that are this simple, this genius, and allow for fun fine motor practice with literally no prep?
Play Dough and Rocks – The OT Toolbox
This fine motor activity for preschool is as simple as playdough and rocks. Yes, that’s all it takes! The rocks bring in some added fun and exploration to beloved playdough time and also help build those little hand muscles even more!
Fine Motor Journals – Stay At Home Educator
Fine motor journals are a developmentally appropriate way for preschoolers to practice skills needed for writing. They allow fine motor practice in a variety of ways and engage the student in ways that letter tracing worksheets might not. They also give parents a snapshot of how their children are progressing in their pre-writing and writing skills.