Suggested Home Activities to Support Fine Motor and Visual Motor Development
Fine Motor Skill Development
1. Play with therapy putty or “Thinking Putty™”-make it into shapes, push small pegs into the putty to make faces, animals, etc., also hide small beads in the putty and have the child find them.
2. Lite Brite
3. High interest themed coloring books; break crayons in half to develop appropriate grasp.
4. Drawing or painting on an upright surface, mounted dry erase board, chalkboard or on an easel.
5. Play dough. Roll out play dough with a rolling pin and use cookie cutters, playdough squeeze toys that make dough “spaghetti”, Cut play dough with scissors. Push toothpicks into the playdoh or use small balls of playdoh to build a toothpick structure.
6. Use bathtub crayons or markers to draw pictures on the wall in the bath tub.
7. Stringing fruit loops onto licorice or string, string cheerios, macaroni, popcorn
8. Using a plant sprayer filled with water to have kids help you clean the tables or water plants. Can also be used to spray snow (mix food coloring with water so that the snow can be colored).
9. Picking up objects using large tweezers or strawberry pickers. This can be adapted by picking up Cheerios, small cubes, cotton balls, small marshmallows, pennies, etc.
10. Lacing and sewing activities such as stringing beads or sewing buttons to a piece of cloth.
11. Rolling small balls out of tissue paper, then gluing the balls onto construction paper to form pictures or designs.
12. Using eye droppers to "pick up" colored water for color mixing or to make artistic designs on a paper towel or coffee filter (or for younger kids, using a turkey baster to “pick up” water in the bathtub).
13. Making pictures using stickers.
14. Playing games with finger puppets.
15. Drawing in a tactile medium such as shaving cream, wet sand, salt, rice, or "goop". Make "goop" by adding water to cornstarch until you have a mixture similar in consistency to toothpaste.
16. Picking out small objects like pegs, beads, coins, etc., from a tray of rice, beans, kinetic sand, or putty. Try it with eyes closed too. This helps develop sensory awareness in the hands.
17. Monkey bars on the play ground for arm and hand strength.
18. Use Wikki Stix to make pictures, letters and shapes. (can be
purchased through most educational/therapy companies or Amazon.
19. Cutting out pictures from magazines or catalogs and make a collage.
20. Have the child help you with cooking, using a rolling pin, helping to stir, rolling cookie dough into balls before cooking. You can also make your own play dough together (can find recipes online).
Additional ideas and Resources:
101 Fine motor ideas.pdf (free download)
Flashlight tag: Shut off all the lights and use a flashlight against the ceiling/walls. Have the child lie on his/her back or tummy and use their flashlight to follow your moving light from left to right, top to bottom, diagonally, circles, etc. (take turns being the one leading/following with the light). You can color the clear plastic of the flashlight with a sharpie marker to make it red, blue, etc. so that the lights are different colors for tag. You can also buy flashlights with caps that will make the light into an animal, shape, etc. and the child can watch (track) the light as it moves.
Ball activities, playing catch, velcro ball toss, throwing and hitting a target, bouncing a ball back and forth with a partner, hitting a tossed ball with a bat or t-ball.
Practice hitting bowling pins with a ball. (You can purchase these games or make your own with soda bottles and a small ball.)
Throw bean bags/koosh balls into a hula hoop placed flat on the floor. Gradually increase the distance.
Play balloon volleyball and hit a balloon back and forth to each other.
Word searches and mazes
Drawing: Try some of these ideas to work on drawing skills with your kids.
Art for Kids Hub (search for those labeled preschool for younger children)
Matman- How to draw a person (video)
Howtodraw.pics (explore this website for simple step by step how-to-draws)