Five Motor Activities You Can Do at Home

Five Motor Activities You Can Do at Home

Your fine motor skills involve the small muscles of your body, found in your hands, face, and feet. They require strength, control, and dexterity, and are necessary to do common activities like writing, eating, and dressing yourself. If your child has special needs, you may have noticed weakness in her fine motor skills. Fine motor weakness can affect her education, as well as her day to day life-skills, so helping her develop and strengthen her fine motor skills is a must.

The good news is that finding and implementing activities, to do at home that work on her fine motor skills, are easy to do and don't require a lot of unusual and/or expensive tools. Most of the items in the activities below are typical and commonly found in most houses with children.

  • Art — art is a great way to work on his fine motor skills. Coloring/drawing with markers or crayons help improve his grasping skills and overall hand strength. Cutting with scissors, and gluing objects (paper, dry pasta, cotton balls, beads, etc.) also help work his pincer grasp and overall hand control and coordination.
  • Play-doh — play-doh, clay, and slime, are different consistencies and each can help with developing strength by molding, cutting and creating. Start with soft gooey slime or play-doh, then move to tougher clay as his strength grows. Cookie cutters and molds are great additions to playdoh play.
  • Building — sorting and building with blocks help develop and improve strength in his fingers, as well as encouraging creative play. Start with bigger blocks, and as his control and muscle strength continues, consider smaller blocks, such as legos, which will require more control and finger strength.
  • Lacing, stringing, and sorting — beads and other manipulatives are wonderful to have at home. They allow him to be creative, work on color, size, shape sorting, in addition to his fine motor skills.  Lacing cards are easy to to make and very cost effective. Simply use a hole punch to punch holes in a piece of cardboard and have him thread a shoelace or ribbon through the holes.
  • Water/sand play — a favorite among most kids, water/sand tables are sensory friendly and filled with hours of unlimited fun. Include cups, spoons, and other tools to help improve his scooping and pouring techniques, which can help with self-feeding skills.
  • Games and puzzles — games like "Jenga" require precision and steady hand movements, as do games such as "Operation" and "Connect Four", and most puzzles.
  • Cooking — allowing him to help you cook helps with grasping, measuring, and feeding movements.

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Fine Motor Activities to Do at Home
Shandy Marso, Contributor
Carolina Pediatric Therapy © September 2014

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