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Building Your Child's Fine Motor Skills

Updated: Mar 18

If fine motor activities are difficult for your child and don't always lead to successful outcomes, then your child may be less likely to engage in these activities. Practising and building these skills will not only be beneficial for your child, it will help reduce some of the stress in these situations. The key is to make it fun, keep it simple and keep your practise sessions short. Consistency and daily practise will also help your child be successful.

Games and Activities to Develop Fine Motor Strength and Coordination

  • Pick up small items using pincer grasp and place into opposite hand, container etc.

  • Lace beads onto a string, pipe cleaner and/or toothpick stuck into playdough

  • Pick up and sort buttons or other small objects (can sort by colour, size etc.)

  • Wind pipe cleaners around a pencil, dowel, wooden spoon etc. or practise tying them in a knot

  • Use playdough, theraputty, styrofoam balls etc. to join pipe cleaners together into 3D shapes

  • Stretch elastic bands over a ping pong ball to make a rubber band ball

  • Stretch elastic bands over different size cans, bottles etc.

  • Stick tape to a table or other surface and have them peel it off

  • Tear paper into small pieces (mimics opening food packages)

  • Break sticks and twigs outside

  • Stretch uninflated balloons

  • Mix up various containers, remove lids, and have them find the correct lid for each container (and place the lid back on the container)

  • Practise removing the lids to the containers that they use frequently (you may make this into.a game by putting a "surprise" inside and ask them to open it to find the surprise - this provides more motivation to complete the task)

  • Lego or other linking toys/blocks

  • Playing with Velcro

  • Screws and bolts - have them take bolts off of screws and put them back on

  • Using a single hole-punch

  • Scooping rice, popcorn kernels etc. using various utensils (e.g., spoon, small measuring cup etc.)

  • Use tweezers to pick up small items such as pompoms

  • Attach clothespins to a sheet, piece of cardboard etc.

  • Play with playdough or putty to create balls, snakes, or other shapes (you could then practise using scissors to cut the shapes)

**Games and Activities have been provided by Ashley Whetham, Registered OT in Ontario, Canada.

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