7 Ways to Build Fine Motor Skills for Preschoolers

Early development of fine motor skills will help increase chances for success when they begin writing. Fine motor activities can be fun and challenging at the same time, so get those little hands busy. There are many activities that are effective, these are 7 of our favorites in my house.

7 Ways to Build Fine Motor Skills for Preschoolers

  1. Scissors: My daughter loves cutting! She needs no invitation or direction and will cut paper into small bits all day long. You can let them cut freely or give them a task like cutting pictures out of magazines, cutting along a line, zig zag, or shape.
  2. Play dough: Squeezing, molding, shaping,  rolling, flattening, twisting, poking, and all the other things kids love to do with play dough will strengthen hand muscles and increase their writing skills before they ever begin. Try out a homemade play dough recipes here .
  3. Lacing/Threading: This can be changed up in so many ways kids will never get bored with it! Beads on a string, lacing cards, spaghetti noodles stuck into play dough and threaded with pony beads, pasta necklaces, and threading laces in a shoe or play mat will all work well.
  4. Stickers: Kids love stickers and they are a great exercise for building fine motor skills. Peeling them from the backing and placing them strengthens hands. Let them free play with them on construction paper or give them a task like creating a pattern, placing stickers in circles you have pre drawn.
  5. Sensory Writing: Have them write or draw with their fingers in pudding, shaving cream, finger paint, mud, salt, play dough, etc… Before they begin writing with a pencil tracing letters and shapes with their fingers will build muscles and help reinforce letter recognition.
  6. Fingerplay: Where is Thumbkin,  Way up High in the Apple Tree, and other sing alongs which use hand movements are an ideal activity for strengthening fingers.
  7. Sensory Bins: Yes these are awesome for imagination, and to keep kids busy for hours but they are also excellent for fine motor development. – The pouring, scooping, picking up, placement, stirring, grabbing, and other motions that are naturally involved in this play can do the job while being entertaining.

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About Jody Leduc Smith

Jodi is a homeschooling, gardening, coffee drinking, diy’ing, recipe fiddling, Jesus loving, sometimes crunchy momma who could use a nap. You can see more of her adventures at asipofsouthernsunshine.com


  1. I love all of these. My son actually already does a good many of them. I am still not quiet ready for him to use scissors but he did just turn 3.

  2. What a helpful list! I pinned this to refer back to when August rolls around and I am planning my preschool lessons again.

  3. Yes! I just love the simple easily-accessible activity ideas. Any mom can do these with her child and that is great! Thanks for linking up. Pinning this great list.

  4. Love all the ideas, but playing dough and sensory bins are my ultimate favourites! 🙂


    • Savanah says:

      We are huge fans of sensory bins. We always have a couple in rotation. Even my 9yo loves to play with them! I’m sneaky and put a book or two out that goes with the theme so they want to read too.

  5. Great list! Thanks for sharing on Wake Up Wednesday Linky Hop!

  6. These are all good tips! My five year old is really smart as far as reading/math, but his fine motor skills are not quite there. Probably because he’s not interested in any handwriting or sit down work 98% of the time. That’s ok though, these tips are pretty good ideas so he thinks he’s making a mess but he’s actually strengthening his hands and sitting still for 5 minutes. Glad I stopped by from the Women With Intention Link UP

    • Savanah says:

      I love sneaky learning ideas. One of my 5yos loves to sit and do school. The other wants nothing to do with it, so I have to find ways to trick him into learning without realizing it!

  7. Not only are these great activiites, but they are all activities that can be made at home! Great ideas! Thanks for sharing your list at Inspire Me Mondays!

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