Fine motor activities for preschoolers are so much fun because kids have slightly longer attention spans and can be more independent than our younger toddler friends.
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The preschool years are jam-packed with fine motor skill development as kids refine their grasping skills, develop more precise coordination, and get ready for “big kid” activities like handwriting. I love to bring fun fine motor activities like the ones below into the preschool classrooms where I work, introducing them during my OT sessions.
Once the kids have practiced a little bit, they are usually ready to play with the activity on their own, so I’ll leave it in the classroom sensory table or with the teacher so that everyone in the class is getting a good dose of fine motor play even after the OT has left the building! :)
Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers
1 || Weaving
We OTs always love a good weaving activity for kids – great for visual motor integration and coordination. This one is super easy to set up and can be used inside or outside!
2 || Clothespin and clip activities
Clothespins and clips are awesome (and cheap!) tools for building fine motor strength and coordination. Check out this hilarious Monster Munch Fine Motor Activity (Lalymom) or let kids practice spelling their names with this fun clothespin craft!
3 || Cutting practice
By kindergarten, most kids will be able to cut out shapes independently, so preschool is crunch time for learning how to cut with scissors. Try this vehicle cutting activity or these fun cutting tape mazes.
4 || Tongs and tweezers
Activities using tongs and tweezers (Fantastic Fun and Learning) are also great for getting little hands ready for cutting with scissors and can be done with just about any manipulative, craft material, or household object you have on hand.
5 || Bilateral coordination activities
Learning to use both hands together efficiently (bilateral coordination) can be tricky for preschoolers. This skill is so important for nearly every school and play-related task you can think of. Make bilateral practice fun by creating cute fine motor crafts (Red Ted Art), or with fun threading activities (Powerful Mothering).
6 || Pair fine motor play and academics
Fine motor play and early academic skills are a match made in heaven for preschoolers! Nothing’s better than being able to work on skills like counting or letter identification while also strengthening fine motor skills. This fine motor math game (And Next Comes L) is a perfect example!
7 || Play with LegoⓇ bricks!
8 || Play with small objects and manipulatives
9 || Clothing fastener practice
Even though preschoolers are tiny, those little fingers are ready to tackle clothing fasteners. Here are some ways to teach kids to zip and button.
10 || Practice opening food packages
These fun and playful ideas are perfect for helping kids learn to open food packages. Preschool is the perfect time to practice before kids start kindergarten, where they’re expected to be more independent!
Check out some of our other activity ideas for preschoolers: