Fine motor skills in children: 20 fun games and activities
Boys and girls develop motor skills at different rates (don't worry if your little one takes a little while on something, they have their own times). However, when young children have problems with fine motor skills, it becomes difficult to perform important tasks such as grasping utensils (pencils, for example), moving objects with their fingertips, and using tools such as scissors. They may also have difficulty learning to tie their shoelaces. Again, it is not something to be alarmed about, and here we are going to help you stimulate your little ones' fine motor skills.
What is fine motor skills?
Fine motor skills refer to the ability and dexterity that a person has to make small, precise movements with their hands and fingers, as well as with the muscles that control these movements (grasping cutlery, tying shoelaces, brushing teeth). These actions require coordination, muscle control and dexterity to perform delicate and precise tasks. Fine motor skills are essential in a variety of everyday activities, such as writing, drawing, cutting, fastening buttons, playing musical instruments, manipulating small objects, and performing similar tasks that involve precise, delicate movements.
Examples of fine motor skills
- l Handwriting: Use a pencil, pen, or paintbrush to trace letters, numbers, and drawings on paper.
- l Draw and color: Make precise strokes and details in a drawing or color within lines and contours.
- l Cutting with scissors: Cutting paper following curved lines or specific shapes.
Why is fine motor skills important in children? Benefits
Fine motor development begins in childhood and is refined over time as children practice and improve their skills. These skills are essential for learning and overall development, as they allow children to interact with their environment more effectively and participate in activities that require precision and manual dexterity. They are also important for people of all ages, as they play a crucial role in completing many daily tasks and recreational activities.
How do you work on fine motor skills?
We work with elements that we have at home, so it is not necessary to go out and look for anything or buy anything. We are gradually teaching them to use their fingers, their hands, their feet and to be able to measure distance and depth. It's like having a gym at home, where we will help you understand how your body handles itself. It is important to tailor these activities to each child's individual age and abilities and provide them with a safe, supervised environment to explore and practice. Consistency in practicing these activities will help develop and improve fine motor skills over time. Here we give you a very simple example: different ways of painting can help strengthen your child's hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. Finger painting allows your child to use their hands and get messy. Painting with a brush helps your child learn to hold a brush and gain more control when using it as a tool (paint-by-number kits are great for brush painting).
10 Games for fine motor skills
Provide small pegs, such as clothespins or food tongs, and small items such as buttons, pompoms, or beads. Children should use tweezers to grasp and transfer objects from one place to another. You can make a points system, and have access to prizes at a certain point.
Painting with sponges
Instead of brushes, use sponges to paint. Kids can cut sponges into different shapes and dip them in paint before stamping them on paper. If they are very small, you can cut the sponges. In this way, they could create their own tapestries with repeated designs (patterns) and put together an album.
Threading raw noodles
Both raw noodles and cooked noodles. Cook spaghetti noodles and let the kids thread them onto a string. This is a fun, tactile activity that develops fine motor skills. You can paint the raw ones and make necklaces or bracelets.
Bead Maze Game
Create a maze in a tray with small, clear beads. Children must tilt the tray to guide the beads through the maze without letting them fall. Use marbles, coins, and small pieces to make it more entertaining.
Make finger puppets
Use materials such as cardboard, felt, or old socks to create finger puppets. Kids can decorate them and then use their fingers to move them and tell stories.
Making these titles with socks that are no longer used is super important, because you would be recycled products for kids.
Create a fake pond with cardboard or plastic fish with clips in their mouths. Children can use a homemade fishing rod with string and a magnet to "catch" fish.
Make button puzzles, where kids must match buttons by color or size to complete a design or image.
Building stick figures and play dough
Children can use sticks and play dough to create three-dimensional figures and shapes. Use blunt brooch pins to avoid accidents.
Read: clothespin caterpillars
Mosaics with tiles or tiles
They can create patterns and designs using tiles, tiles or small colored pieces.
Use punch cards and laces for children to thread the laces through the holes following patterns or designs.
10 Activities for fine motor skills
Tying shoelaces or tying knots in threads or ropes. We know it can be a challenge at first, but you can use different colors of cords or ribbons to teach them how to tie threads, cords, and ribbons.
Align and pass a button through its corresponding buttonhole. It seems simple but this activity is very fun and entertaining, especially for the little ones. We recommend starting with larger buttons and going down in size. You will need a taffeta or soft fabric to make the holes.
Fitting puzzle pieces
Placing small pieces in their correct places in a puzzle. We recommend that they not be small pieces to avoid risks.
Building with blocks or small pieces
Create structures and patterns using building blocks, such as LEGO.
Play with plasticine or clay
Mold and shape figures with precision. Of course, be close so they don't ingest it. Try giving simpler animals (like snails, snakes, and little fish) to more difficult animals like dogs, cats, and birds.
Board games with chips or cards
Playing cards or chips during board games. Let's see, we know that they are for older children, but it can be a great idea to get familiar. Games like UNO or Chinchón are a good idea to start.
Playing musical instruments
Using your fingers precisely to play piano keys, guitar strings, or buttons on instruments such as the flute. If you don't have these instruments, try making them yourself with a homemade guide. A xylophone is easy to make even with anything you have at home.
Making Bead Necklaces
Children can string beads on thread to create necklaces and bracelets, which requires coordination and manual dexterity. Additionally, they could learn the correct name of colors. We must be careful that they do not ingest them by accident.
Allowing children to paint with their fingers instead of brushes helps them develop movement control and creativity. Don't worry, most temperas are washable and will come off all surfaces.
Writing with Crayons
Using crayons to color and draw, which also builds grip strength.
In short, fine motor skills are an essential skill that involves precise and delicate movements of the hands and fingers. Developing fine motor skills is important at all stages of life, but it is especially crucial during childhood, as it lays the foundation for a number of essential skills. Games and activities designed to improve fine motor skills are a fun and effective way to help children develop fine manual skills, coordination and muscle control. By providing a variety of creative and challenging activities, children can strengthen their fine motor skills while having fun and exploring their environment. These skills are valuable in everyday life and contribute to children's overall development.
Follow these tips that Kiddus gives you and work on fine motor skills. Look at their products, your child may like some of them.