Fine Motor Activities

Report
FINE MOTOR SKILLS
The following list of activities have been recommended as beneficial to the
development of fine motor skills. The activities serve only as ideas for improving fine
motor skills and should not be seen as comprehensive. If you have concerns about
your child's development of fine motor skills, please speak with you child’s teacher
and/or seek professional advice from an Occupational Therapist.
What are fine motor skills and why are they important?
Fine motor control is the ability to precisely utilise one’s hands and fingers in a skilled
activity. Fine motor activities occur in almost every single activity we do throughout
the day. Good fine motor skills stem from having developed solid sensory, motor and
perceptual foundations, something which we develop from birth and continue to
develop right throughout our life span. Fine motor activities are very important in the
classroom, as almost every academic task requires students to engage in fine motor
activities.
Hand Strength
The following activities promote development of strength in the small muscles of
the hand and the muscles of the forearm. Adequate hand strength is essential for
maintaining grasp (eg – holding pencil and drawing/writing for long periods) and
manipulating objects with our fingers.
Activity ideas:
Scissor activities
Squeezing clothes pegs
Painting with spray bottles
Squeezing tubes
Hammering
Using pop beads and other interlocking toys
Stirring and kneading dough
Using tweezers/tongs to pick up objects/materials
Play musical instruments
Constructing with Lego, Duplo
Using stapler and hole punch in craft activities
Tearing and crumpling paper
Squeezing sponges
Screw/unscrew jars
Using water pistol
Using wind up toys
Putting buttons into an opening of tennis ball
Playdough activities: Rotate a small ball of plasticine with finger tips; roll
plasticine into a sausage shape using fingers, not palm; Hold up playdough
sausage and pinch between index finger and thumb without breaking sausage;
Pinch playdough into a peak using three fingers; Cutting playdough with
scissors;
Interweave a large rubber band between fingers and stretch fingers.
Pick up beads between fingers and drop one by one.
Finger isolation
The term finger isolation refers to the ability to use certain fingers in isolation from
the rest of the hand/fingers. It is an important skill for children to develop as it
increases and improves their ability to control their pencil when writing and drawing.
Activity ideas:
Draw in wet sand with finger (eg – index finger)
Finger painting
Finger puppets
Music keyboard
Push button activities
Using eye-dropper for painting
Picking up coins & cards
Sprinkling rice ,sand etc
Card games
Spray bottles
Connect Four
Origami
Intrinsic colouring-in
Playdough activities
Using stickers as part of activity (peel off backing & place down)
General upper Limb strengthening and control activity ideas:
“Push Ups” – child completes sit ups or push ups by pushing against a wall, a
chair or on the floor
All Fours Shoulder pressure: child kneels on all fours. The adult applies gentle
compression through shoulder, straight down, for 10 to 15 seconds. This force
should not be great enough to fatigue the child’s muscles, and should be
immediately followed with shoulder control activities
Scooter Board Activities: child propels themself along with arms; child holds
onto a rope or hoop and is pulled along by an adult
Freeze Tag: like ordinary tag, but the child has to freeze when tagged and
hold their position until tagged by someone else
Seesaws and swings
Monkey bars, climbing the fort
Trampolines – kneeling; standing; hands and knees
Easel Painting
Racquet and ball games
Ribbon dancing
Skipping with a skipping rope
Painting large pieces of paper with roller brushes
Drawing on a blackboard – wavy lines, straight lines, diagonal lines, circles,
two hands drawing together at the same time
Proprioception
Joint Movement Awareness, Body Position Sense or Proprioception is the sense
that lets us know the position of our body parts without using our vision. This sense
is essential for the execution of smooth and co-ordinated movements and also
impacts on our arousal level. In addition, the proprioceptive sense has a regulating
effect on a child’s nervous system and can influence a child's attention to task.
Children who experience difficulties with Proprioception may appear ‘clumsy’, use
heavy movements, they may use heavy or fluctuating pencil pressure and seem,
‘wriggly’ or ‘on the go’ all the time. These activities can be great to use as a “warm
up” to fine motor activities.
Activity ideas:
Animal walks (crab walks, bear walks, seal walks) and commando crawls
Wheelbarrows or walking on your hands
Tug of war games, hanging/swinging on monkey bars, climbing
Pushing/pulling games (e.g. row, row, row your boat)
Rolling along the ground in a tunnel, rug or mattress
Clapping songs
Hand exercises - prayer pushes (push hands together), monkey grip (link
fingers and pull), push, pull, squish, squeeze etc
Hammering activities or games like snap or hand pile ups
Playing with play dough/plasticine, push, pull, squish, squeeze, bang, poke
etc.
Practice drawing shapes first with eyes open and then trying it with eyes
shut. This can then be tried with shapes and letters
Drawing in the sand pit, on a blackboard or on the pavement, with chalk, use
a pencil or finger to draw into flattened playdough
Rubbing arms and legs firmly
Try heavy work activities such as pushing chairs into desks, stacking chairs,
opening heavy doors, wiping down desks or cleaning the blackboard
If you have suggestions for
Fine Motor Activities that we
could share with other
parents/carers, please contact
us on
(07) 3264 0111
or drop in to the SNAP room

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