How To Build Fine Motor Skills – Activities For Distance Learners

Fine Motor skills require strength, dexterity, and coordination to produce movement of the small muscles in the hands, fingers, and wrist in order to grasp and manipulate objects. These skills are essential to the success of children in the classroom and beyond. Classroom activities such as handwriting, scissor use, coloring, typing and more all require children to have functional fine motor skills. In the home, these skills are needed for many tasks including dressing, eating and grooming. These fine motor kits are easy to make and can be used in the classroom or at home to work on a variety of different fine motor skills.

Activities:

Stringing Beads

Stringing beads is an excellent activity to work on fine motor skills in children. For this activity all you need are laces and beads. Stringing beads requires the coordination of both hands together, one hand to stabilize the string and one hand to string the beads. Additionally, it encourages in hand-manipulation skills which, in simple terms, is the ability to pick up and use an object with one hand. Stringing beads can also increase fine motor dexterity, or the speed at which a child is able to manipulate small objects.

fine motor skills students

Play-Doh Mats

Play-Doh has many functional benefits when it comes to the development of fine motor skills and, as an added bonus, kids love it! To build hand strength and work on fine motor dexterity, kids can use their fingers to manipulate and shape the Play-Doh into small balls or other shapes. They can stick the shapes onto Play-Doh mats like the ones pictured below from OT Toolbox. Beads or other small items can be hidden inside the Play-Doh and the child can use their hands and fingers to search for and remove these “treasures.”

motor skills distance learning

Coin Banks

These coin banks are a great addition to any fine motor kit! Kids will love decorating the outside using markers or paint. Then, they can practice inserting bingo chips or coins into the slot. This encourages a variety of in hand-manipulation skills, which help children to manipulate objects in the classroom and beyond. This activity also promotes fine motor dexterity and pincer grasp.

at home learning

 Transferring Pom Poms

Clothespins and tweezers are simple and effective tools to increase hand strength in children. Have kids try to use just their thumb, index, and middle finger to open these tools in order to pick up objects. This encourages development and strengthening of the muscles needed to grasp and manipulate objects for writing and other fine motor tasks. Have children try picking up and transferring Pom Poms with Jumbo Tweezers first, and then challenge them to use clothespins of different sizes. These tiny clothespins from S&S are the perfect size for promoting and strengthening pincer grasp in children!

fine motor skills students


About the Author: My name is Lizzy Darin, and I am a second year Occupational Therapy graduate student at Sacred Heart University. I am currently finishing my 12-week rotation as a Level II Fieldwork student in a public school system. I  have had the pleasure of working with  and designing individualized treatment plans for students of all ages and skill levels. I have learned so much throughout my time here and I am excited to continue my journey towards becoming an Occupational Therapist. My supervisor introduced me to S&S Worldwide and I am grateful to be aware of this amazing resource where I can order supplies for all of my future therapy needs!

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