These activities will develop small motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and get little hands ready to write.

Tearing Tub - Place tissue paper, wrapping paper, construction paper
scraps, etc. in a plastic tub and encourage the children to tear them.  Can they make confetti?  Can they tear shapes and use them to make a collage?

Cutting Pool - Put paper scraps, junk mail, catalogs, etc. in an old plastic
swimming pool.  Add some safety scissors and cut, cut, cut. 
•Children will also enjoy decorative scissors.
•It’s also fun to cut up leftover cooked spaghetti noodles

Hole Punch - Using a hole punch with paper, cards, or paper plates will
strengthen small muscles.

Stringing - Children can string cereal with holes, beads, cut up straws, large buttons, or pasta.  Use old shoe laces, dental floss, or string with the ends wrapped in tape.

Penny Pick Up - Lay 3 pennies on the table for children to pick up with one hand.  Can they place the pennies back on the table one at a time?  Can they pick up the pennies with the opposite hand?

Clothes Pins - Have children pick up pompoms or cotton balls with a spring clothes pin and put them in a bowl.

Pouring - Give children pitchers and other containers in a water tub to
practice pouring. 

Sand Play -  A sandbox is a natural place where children can dig, mold,
pour, and wiggle little fingers.

Punch Designs - Trace a letter or object on construction paper.  Place it on top of a mouse pad.  Children punch around the design with a stick pin and then hold up to the light.

Play Dough - Add cookie cutters, scissors, plastic hammers, and other objects to play dough and clay to work small muscles.

Tongs & Tweezers - Give children tongs to move small toys or other objects from one plate to another. 

Thumb Sponge - Give children a small piece of sponge to hold in their palm with their thumb.  Play a game where they take their pointer
and touch the sponge.  Continue touching with the tall finger, ring finger, and then baby finger.  Reverse movements.

Sewing - Provide children with sewing cards or make your own from old greeting cards and cereal boxes. 

Weaving - Let children weave yarn and string through berry baskets,
mesh vegetable bags, or slits in paper plates and cardboard.

Inserting - Give children pompoms and other small objects to insert in
a plastic water bottle.  Challenge them to take the objects out.

Lids - Fill small jars and plastic containers with little toys.  Children get to remove the lids, open the containers, take out the objects, and then reseal them.  It’s like opening presents!

Construction Blocks, Legos, and similar materials enable children to use small muscles, as well as their imaginations.

Baby Dolls - Dressing dolls will utilize small muscles.  Washing doll clothes and other toys is also fun.

Puzzles & Pegboards - Offer children puzzles, pegboards, and other table toys where they can develop small motor skills.

Art - Painting, drawing, pasting, and other art activities will get little hands ready to write.

Shaving Cream - A sure winner for all times is a squirt of shaving cream!
Children can make designs, draw, or write.  You’ll get table tops clean as the children have fun! 

Finger Plays – Small motor skills, oral language, auditory memory, and attention span are all nurtured with finger plays.

Sign Language - Sign language is multi-sensory and can be used to introduce letters.  Remind children to make "strong letters" and not "wimpy letters."  When they tighten hands to reproduce signs, it will strengthen hand muscles.


Next Page