For a while now, I’ve had a new web page in the works on Fine Motor Skills. For one reason or another, I haven’t had time to complete it yet, so I thought I’d post a little preview here. Fine Motor was one of the areas I sought to improve last year (08-09). It wasn’t that I neglected fine motor skills, but I knew I could definitely do more. Some of these ideas I borrowed from Montessori & I will note which ones.
I have no idea what these are called, but I think someone told me they are normally used to hold a bar of soap. (If anyone knows the name, please clue me in.) They have little suction cups on the bottom that become mini bowls when turned upside down. (These were purchased at the Dollar Tree.) Children use a finger grasp to squeeze one drop of colored water into each little bowl on the dish. [Idea borrowed from Montessori]
These are the same “things” as I described in the above activity. Children use their thumb and forefinger to grasp each little bead and place it a suction cup. The beads are pony beads purchased from a craft store. You can also add tweezers & have the children pick up the beads with tweezers. [Idea borrowed from Montessori]
Children use their fine motor muscles to squeeze the clothespins to clip each piece of clothing to the clothesline. I tied a piece of thick string to the handles of a wooden tray to make the clothesline, and used mini clothespins (although the regular sized clothespins can be used as well). The clothes are Barbie doll clothes purchased at a dollar store. As an alternative, you could cut out shapes of shirts and pants from felt.
Nuts & Bolts
I like to wander through hardware stores & craft stores to find things I can use in the classroom. These larger nuts and bolts can be purchased individually at hardware stores. The cost is usually no more than $0.40 to $0.50 each. Children use their fingers, hands, and wrists, coordinating both hands while grasping and twisting the metal nuts onto the bolts.
Clothespins on a Box
Children squeeze the clothespins and clip them to the sides of the box. To make the activity more interesting, I wrote letters on dot stickers and placed the dot stickers around the sides of the boxes. I wrote letters on the clothespins so the children would match the letters on the clothespins to the letters on the boxes. Other skills could be used, e.g. colors, numbers, beginning sounds. This is similar to activities where children clip clothespins to a paper plate or cardstock circle; however, in my experience, those were flimsy and awkward to use, which is why I like the box better. Any sturdy box could be used (shoe box, postal box). The boxes in this picture were stacking gift boxes that held chocolate covered nuts (a Christmas gift), and they worked out perfectly.