In the midst of all these fun Olympic-themed gross motor activities, I thought it was a good time to slow things down a bit and turn the workout over to some smaller muscles…the ones in your hands and fingers! Educational games that require sorting and matching are great for promoting visual discrimination skills in kids. This fun Fine Motor Ring Toss Game for the Olympics will have cold hands warmed up in no time!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Construction paper (red, green, yellow, blue, black), stapler or tape, buttons in the same colors
WHAT TO DO: Have kids cut strips from each color of the construction paper (about 4” wide and 10” long). Staple or tape each of the strips to make them into circles and place them out on the table or floor so they look like the Olympic Rings. Give each child a cup of buttons and show them how to pick them up one at a time and flip them like you would flip a coin, using their thumbs. Have them practice the movement a few times to get the hang of it. Then, start practicing flipping the colored buttons into the matching colored ring. Again, practice for a few minutes. When everyone’s ready, have a contest to see who can be the first to flip all of their buttons into the matching rings.
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-For younger children, the flipping motion might be too challenging. Use the rings for a fun sorting game instead, dropping or placing the buttons into the matching rings.
-For a gross motor twist, cut out construction paper circles in the colors of the Olympic Rings and place them on the floor at one end of the room. Gather up several household items that are the same colors as the rings and place them on the floor at the other end of the room. Place the colored objects on the matching rings relay-race style (with one child or a team!).
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Fine motor skills, grasp, visual motor integration, visual perceptual skills, motor control, coordination
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.