These fun fine motor activities for teens are perfect for building strength and coordination!
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There are some scenarios that we come across as therapists that really challenge our problem solving skills. A child, in their teenage years, that continues to need fine motor intervention is one of those times.
Some children never develop the fine motor precision needed to complete fine motor and self-care tasks efficiently. Grasping pencils, buttoning shirts, cutting with scissors, snapping pants, buckling belts, and opening doors can all be very challenging for these kids.
There are many reasons that a child of this age might still need fine motor intervention. And these are the kids that can continue to benefit from fine motor practice and hand strengthening activities into adolescence and the teenage years.
Below are 10 of our favorite activities for teens and older kids for strengthening hands and boosting fine motor skills. But before we get started, we also wanted to share these awesome indoor games for teenagers – perfect for keeping teens entertained and off screens and a great balance to the activities below with lots of options for movement! And don’t miss our series on sensory issues in teens – it’s full of great information and strategies to support healthy sensory processing in teens and adolescents.
11 Fun Fine Motor Activities for Teens
1 || Origami – There is something so satisfying and methodical about folding paper for a purpose and the fine and visual motor benefits rock!
2 || Perler Beads – No matter what age we are working with, these beads are always a hit because they are challenging…it’s human nature to want to WIN at getting these stubborn little pieces of plastic onto their forms!
3 || DIY Fidget Toys – Making fidget toys yourself offers countless fine motor benefits and the finished product offers benefits for kids who need to fidget to focus! Have your teen make a bunch and donate them to a local classroom!
4 || Container Work Box – Put a collection of various containers and their lids (empty pill bottles, empty salad dressing bottles or milk jugs, Rubbermaid Containers) into a bin and have your child match lids and put them on tight. Of course, they will need to take them back off so the box is ready for the next person! It’s the perfect activity for hand strengthening, bilateral coordination, and fine motor manipulation.
5 || Simple Snack Making – Using kitchen utensils like butter knives, forks and even toothpicks is a great way to practice fine motor skills. Add in some peanut butter or cream cheese for extra resistance! :)
6 || Play Card Games – It takes some pretty solid fine motor skills to hold a fan of cards or pick one up from a table. Try simple card games like Uno, War, or Slamwich. Check out these fun card games to encourage movement!
7 || Laundry – Folding, matching socks, hanging up damp clothing with clothespins – all great ways to practice fine motor skills in a functional (and super helpful) way!
8 || Keyboarding – Try typing simple letters to friends or even a keyboarding learning tool like Typing Instructor.
9 || Counting coins – Spread a bunch of change out on the table and have your child pick each up one by one to sort them into piles of like coins. Only allow the use of one hand for some extra in-hand manipulation practice. Then, if they are able, have them count their earnings! Afterall, they worked hard to get that money!
10 || Build a Puzzle – Nothing is better than actually finishing a puzzle and admiring the fruits of your labor! Try something easier like this 48 piece Solar System floor puzzle from Melissa and Doug or get intense with something like this 1000 piece Candy Wrapper Puzzle.
For even more ideas, see these 25 Fine Motor Activities for Older Kids by Growing Hands on Kids.
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