20 Fine Motor Activities Using Everyday Items

Fine motor skills are so important for the developing toddler and preschooler. These skills enable such functions as writing, grasping small objects, fastening clothing, cutting, stacking blocks and manipulating various toys. As the neurological system matures, these skills develop. Fine motor control requires awareness, planning, muscle strength and coordination to complete a task.

Instrument play in our Kindermusik classes  is a wonderful to improve your little one’s fine motor skills. To further develop these skills, here is a list of 20 Fine Motor Activities using everyday items that you have around the house. 

1. Spice Bottle with holes and Toothpicks (children insert the toothpicks into the bottle through the holes)

2. Picking up various items with tweezers (the plastic ones are the safest), tongs or strawberry hullers

3. Popping Bubble Wrap

4. Stringing Beads

5. Nuts & Bolts

6. Tissue Paper and Empty Water Bottles (children shove small pieces of tissue paper into the bottle) This also works with cotton balls, pipe cleaner and small pompoms.

7. Lacing. Cut out a shape and poke holes around the edges. Have children lace around the border of the shape.

8. Pounding Golf Tees into Styrofoam using a Toy Hammer

9. Cutting

10. Using the Hole Puncher

11. Dot Marker Activities

12. Turkey Baster or Eye Dropper and Water (Great for a water table or bath time)

13. Old Fashioned Egg Beater (the kind with the hand crank) and Water

14. Washing Toys

15. Tooth Picks, Playdoh and Fruitloops (or beads). Place one tooth pick in each color of playdough so that it is sticking up out of the playdough. The playdough colors should match the Fruitoops/bead colors that you have. Children have to sort the fruitloops by placing them on the corresponding  playdough toothpick.

16. Putting coins in a piggy bank.

17. Thumb Tacks, Bulletin Board and Rubber Bands. Place numerous thumb tacks on a bulletin board. Space them out in various places all over the board. Have children stretch rubber bands forming different shapes. This helps with fine motor and shape recognition.

18. Colander and Pipe Cleaners. Kids stick the pipe cleaners in the holes making various silly decorations. This can also work with styrofoam instead of a colander.

19. Marshmellow and Toothpick Sculptures.

20. Hanging Socks with Clothes Pins. Need help with the laundry? Have the kids hang the socks out to dry.