20 Fine Motor Skills Activities for Pre. k -Kindergarten

20 Fine Motor Skills Activities for Writing Readiness

Fine motor skills are the ability to use small muscles in the fingers, wrists and hands. We use fine motor skills to do many actions in daily life, like tying a shoelace, buttoning a shirt or writing. Children need them for writing, cutting, gluing, and even playing. Any activity that involves using the three fingers (thumb, index and middle finger) can be a fine motor activity.

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It’s important to introduce your child to these activities before you give them any worksheets or books. In a Montessori classroom, there is a whole shelf of Practical Life activities designed to develop fine motor skills. Here are some of my favourite shelf activities and fun craft ideas that you can try in your home school or preschool.

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Shelf Activities for Fine Motor Skills

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Most Montessori Practical Life activities help develop fine motor skills. I usually rotate the shelf activities monthly or seasonally to keep my children’s interest. But these 4 activities that I am about share never go off my shelf. They are budget-friendly and easy to put together.

Superimposition of Shapes

Superimposition of shapes, Montessori fine motor skill activity

This activity can be done in many ways. You can choose to add stickers or coloured paper for the shapes. Stickers can be regular stickers or lick and stick kind. But they all have to match the shapes of the template you are going to use with them. Get the Free templates and Shapes here. As you can see in the picture, the child’s work is to paste the matching shapes on the template. If you are using the lick and stick kind, keep a wet sponge on the tray. The child can press the shape on the sponge and stick it. If you are using coloured paper shapes you can keep a glue stick.

Materials

  • A Tray
  • Coloured Shapes – paper, sticker or lick and stick shapes
  • Glue stick or wet sponge (depending on the type of shapes you are using)
  • A collection of shape templates for the child to choose from

Prick a Shape

Prick a shape, Montessori Fine Motor Skill activity

Prick a Shape is exactly as its name would suggest. The child’s work is to prick or poke a dotted shape using a large pushpin. I have never used a push pin in my classroom for safety reasons. I use a sharp pencil instead. Show the child how to poke holes really close to each other. Once they complete poking the full shape, they can carefully take the shape out. All these actions help develop their fine motor skills. You can even keep some blank sheets of paper and glue for them to paste their shape.

Materials

  • A Tray
  • Dotted Shapes
  • A sharp pencil or a Large push pin (supervised work only)
  • Some blank sheets of paper
  • Glue stick (optional)

Alphabet Play Dough Mats

By The Artisan Life

A top down view of a young child with a pink floral shirt on and a blue bracelet placing a piece of green play dough on a letter mat with large bubble letters M and m

Your little learner can learn the alphabet and practise their fine motor skills with these free printable abc playdough mats. A recipe for play dough that stays soft and lasts for months is included!

Beans Transfer

All you need for this activity is some dry beans and small containers. If you have different kinds of beans you can make a sorting activity. The beans can be replaced by beads, pompoms or any small object. The key is letting the child pick them up using the three fingers (thumb, index and middle) to transfer them. This is an excellent fine motor skill activity and a must-have for your preschool /homeschool shelf. Using tweezers or spoons are also alternatives you can try.

Materials

  • A tray
  • Beans (3 kinds of beans if you want to do a sorting activity)
  • 2 bowls (3 bowls if you are doing a sorting activity)
  • Tweezer or spoon (optional)

Motar and Pestle

Children love crushing things. This activity is always a favourite pick of my children. I use a wooden mortar and pestle that I found from the dollar store. You can use things like clean eggshells or chalk to be crushed. The key is to show them how to hold the pestle to move it to grind the eggshells. When using eggshells, don’t forget to discard them to a pot plant in the classroom or outside. You can talk about the benefits of egg shells to plants too.

FINE MOTOR BUG SENSORY ACTIVITY

By You Ready, Teddy?

Materials

  • Boon drying rack ⁣
  • Plastic bugs (we used bug finger puppets)⁣
  • Bamboo tweezers ⁣
  • Faux flowers⁣
  • Twine or string (for worms)⁣
  • Beads ⁣
  • Magnifying glass⁣
  • Bug book (we used The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer)⁣
Teacher Resources, prntables and digital activities

Easter Lacing Cards Printables for Preschool

By Red Ted Art

Easter Lacing Cards

Materials

  • EASTER Lacing Cards printable available over on Learning Resources
  • Scissors
  • Needle, knitting needle or toothpick to pre-prick lacing holes
  • Glue to stick to cardboard or light cardstock
  • Laces, wool in desired colours
  • Colouring pens for colouring in printable and decorating cards

Visit Montessori Pulse TPT Store to get this fun Easter Math Activity Pack

Easter Math Activity Pack

Alphabet Pattern Block Printable Task Cards

By Parenting Chaos

Materials

  • Write and Wipe Pockets or Laminator
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Pattern Blocks (we suggest using plastic pattern blocks with younger kids)
  • Alphabet Pattern Block Printable

Popcorn Names Fine Motor Button Practice

By Parenting Chaos

Popcorn Names Fine Motor Button Practice

Materials

  • Yellow felt
  • Red felt
  • Red ribbon (about 8 to 10 inches long)
  • 2 green buttons
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun

Games for Fine Motor Skills

Feed the Shark Colour Sorting Game: Ocean Themed Learning Game

By Conserva Mom

Feed the Shark Color Sorting Game: Ocean Themed learning game

Materials

  • Printable sharks and fish
  • Card stock
  • Scissors

Feed The Cat

By Conserva Mom

Feed the cat early learning game

Materials

  • Early learning Cat feeding game template
  • White cardstock, 2 sheets
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Fish crackers (optional)

Arts and Crafts for Fine Motor Skills

How to Make Name Art with Pointillism

By Coffee and Carpool

These name art projects for kids are a great project for kids of all ages. You can do name art on canvas for older kids or use dot markers as name art projects for kids in preschool #nameart #nameartprojects #nameartprojectsforkids #fineartproject #boredombuster #summerproject #easysummercraft #easycraftforkids #craftsforkids #simplesummercraftsforkids #projectsforkids

Materials

  • small canvas or cardstock paper
  • Q-tips
  •  acrylic paint   
  • pencil

Kids can create their names using just dots with this Pointillism-inspired name project. Sneak in some fine motor skills as kids use a Q-tip and paint to create the dots, to create their name.

This fun sensory activity is a great way to explore bugs and develop fine motor skills. The set up is quick and easy for preschoolers and even toddlers!

Pom Pom Craft

By Lil Tigers

 DIY Valentine's day card with pom poms

Materials

  • pom poms
  • clothespins
  • liquid paint
  • paper
  • pencil
  • scissor

Work those motor skills with your own DIY pom pom paintbrush

Cat Painting Tutorial for Kids

By The Inspiration Edit

Materials

  • Paint – white, black, grey, teal, pink, and purple
  • Fine detail paintbrush
  • Angled square foam paintbrush
  • 8 x 10 canvas
  • Tabletop display easel

Kids will love painting this cat painting as an activity for a birthday party! It’s such a cute painting and is even more fun to paint with the bright fun colours painted on the canvas

Paper Plate Heart Sewing Craft

By Red Ted Art

Heart Paper Plate Craft - a wonderful sewing craft for preschool and up. Love this Valentine Decoration for kids to make

Materials

  • paper plates
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • hole punch
  • yarn needle
  • yarn
  • tape

Yarn Wrapped Cloud Rainbows & Pom Poms

By Red Ted Art

Rainbow clouds from yarn

Materials

  • cardboard
  • white paint & brushes (optional)
  • yarn in desired colours, we used white + blues and whites + rainbow
  • facial features – googly eyes, yarn (optional)
  • pom pom maker (optional)
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • a little glue (depending on which yarn wrapped cloud you make)

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Easy Watercolor Art Project kids will LOVE: Heart Art

By The DIY Nuts

Heart Watercolor painting and Grammy watercolor art projects made by toddlers

Materials

  • Watercolour Paint/Paintbrushes
  • Water container (any old plastic container will do)
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Exacto Knife
  • Scissors
  • Paint shirts for kids (I always recommend just using a large T-Shirt)
  • Nice Watercolor Paper or thicker paper
  • Salt (optional)

Other Fine Motor Skills Activities

Design a Magnet Maze: a science + art activity

By Go Science Kids

Design a magnet maze

Materials

  • a paper plate (or thin piece of cardboard)
  • Items to decorate (crayons, pencils, markers)
  • a strong magnet
  • small steel balls (CHOKING HAZARD)

Art projects are the perfect creative way for little ones to develop fine motor skills. Learn how to properly hold a brush and carefully apply watercolor paint in this easy watercolor painting project

Investigating Sunflowers Fine Motor Activity

By Parenting Chaos

Investigating Sunflowers in Preschool Fine Motor Sensory Bin

Materials

  • 1-2 Sunflower Seed Heads (these do not need to be dried)
  • Fine Motor Tweezers
  • Sturdy Plastic Tray
  • Sharp Knife (for adult use only)

Encourage kids to learn about the parts of a sunflower with this simple and engaging Investigating Sunflowers Fine Motor Tray!

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Fizzy Fine Motor ABC’s

By Parenting Chaos

These Fizzy Fine Motor ABC's Ice Cubes were a fun way to cool down while working on our letter recognition.

Materials

  • Silicone Alphabet Ice Tray
  • Sensory Bin
  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Food Dye
  • Water
  • Syringes or Baster
  • Small Plastic Cups

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