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.
- 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.
- 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 .
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.