Solace Blog

growth and development

Household Items to Develop Fine Motor Skills

August 8, 2018

Most Colorado kids have been on summer break for about six weeks now, and if your kids are anything like mine, they’re getting a little bored with our typical daily routine. I have one son entering third grade in the fall, and another little guy entering kindergarten. Both of my boys have strong gross motor skills; ask them to throw a ball, run a race or spring off the ground to shoot a hoop, neither of them will have a problem. Our fine motor skills, however, aren’t as strong. Fine motor skills are achieved when children use their small muscles; writing, clutching small items, turning pages, buttoning and cutting with scissors are just a few examples. In an effort to improve my kid’s fine motor skills and make daily life a little more exciting (ha), I recently scoured the web for things we could do at home that would be both fun and productive. All of the following ideas are simple, fun, entertaining, and include items that are most likely laying around your house somewhere!

Household Items to Help Develop Fine-Motor Skills

1.) Q-tips: Q-tips are great for little hands that need to focus on precision and grasp. I set up a paint station for my kids and instead of giving them paint brushes, I gave them Q-tips! My kids initially thought it was super weird…but after just a few minutes I could hear them laughing and getting really into their art projects. The results were really cute, and they strengthened their hand muscles without even realizing it.

2.) Scissors: Cutting can be really hard for some kids, including mine! Depending on the age of your child, provide them with age-appropriate scissors and instruct them to cut some construction paper into straight lines. Once the lines are accomplished, move on to shapes (squares and triangles), and eventually onto more complex things like snowflakes and paper dolls. Cutting addresses everything from coordination to strength as well as visual motor skills.

3.) Legos: My kids are crazy about Legos. They love to build and create, and it’s a wonderful quiet activity when everyone needs a little downtime. Legos work little hands and help to increase coordination, strength and precision. My kids are both task-oriented, and I notice they focus longer when they have something specific they are working on. Recently, I asked them to work together to create a theme park out of Legos. The results were impressive, and I was happy knowing they were having fun and working on their fine motor skills all at once.

4.) Shaving Cream: This is a messy activity, so therefore (obviously) it is my boy’s favorite! Provide your child with a cookie sheet and a can of shaving cream. Instruct them to spray the shaving cream on the cookie sheet until it is fully covered. Once they’re done, depending on their age, ask them to use their fingers to write numbers, letters, words and sentences in the shaving cream. Spraying the shaving cream helps develop a child’s grasp strength and endurance, and writing in the shaving cream assists with precision and motor maturity. I am pretty sure this activity is single-handedly responsible for teaching my younger son how to write his letters.

5.) Tweezers: Tweezers are a great tool for moving small items from one spot to another. The way the hand works when using the tweezers encourages the development of strength and coordination skills, and depending on what you’re doing, you can probably sneak in a quick math lesson, too! I gave my kids some tweezers, a pile of skittles and started doling out age-appropriate math equations they had to answer by moving the skittles around. Their hands got worked, as did their minds. Win-win for all!

Want more fun ideas to help develop fine-motor skills? Here are some great crafts!

Share this Post