Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skill is the coordination of small muscle movements, involving the synchronisation of hands and fingers with the eyes. Fine motor skills are essential for everyday life – fastening up your zip, opening lunchboxes, cleaning teeth and writing. Listed below are a list of activities using objects found in your home.


Pasta Necklace

This activity involves some art too!

  1. You will need: paint, pasta and pipe cleaners.
  2. First of all paint the pasta by rolling it around in the paint. Your child might like to mix the colours too.
  3. Let the pasta dry overnight.
  1. Thread them onto a pipe cleaner or a piece of string to create a necklace.

The rolling the pasta in the paint and threading them on the pip cleaners are a fantastic fine motor skills activity. We tied together three pip cleaners to make ours.

Fruit Butterfly

Create a butterfly for snack time!

  1. You will need: grapes for the body and an orange or satsuma for the wings.
  2. With your child, cut the grapes in half, the antennae into quarters and peel and segment the satsuma.
  3. Discuss how you can make them to look like a butterfly and then place them on a plate or board.
  4. Enjoy eating your butterfly! Which part will your child eat first?


Poking, rolling and squashing playdough can help to improve dexterity in their little fingers. It also promotes imagination as they can create all sorts of wonderful things with it! The brillaint thing about play dough is that you can use a range of things with it: pasta, buttons, shells, leaves, numbers, letters, fabric, ribbons, lollipop sticks, straws etc. Whatever you have in your home would work.

  1. You will need: playdough, rolling pin, cutters and any extras.
  2. We made a ‘Happy Birthday’ playdough tray with candles, candle holders, cupcake cases, number candles and a rolling pin.
  3. Your child will come up with their own play. My daughter sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to each member of our family with a different amount of candles each time!

Zig-Zag Lines
  1. Draw a range of different lines on a piece of paper using different colours.
  2. Your child follows the lines with a vehicle.
  3. Repeat with each of the lines.

Block Building

This activity is fantastic for the pincer grasp, coordination of the hands and following a pattern.

  1. For this activity, your child will be picking up the blocks using their thumb, forefinger and middle finger only.
  2. You start and choose a coloured block and your child copies. Then you add another one and your child copies.
  3. Start off with an easy pattern involving 4 blocks and then get more complicated, making sure they are always using their thumb, forefinger and middle finger only.
  4. Then swap. It’s their turn to create a pattern that you will follow.

Toilet Roll Heads
  1. Cut the toilet roll so that it looks like it has strands of hair.
  2. You or your child, draw a face on the toilet roll.
  3. Ask your child to pull down the hair one strand at a time, using their thumb and forefinger only.
  4. Put the strands back up one at a time, using their thumb and forefinger only.

Spoon Scoop
  1. Get 4 cups and inside place small items which can be scooped up. We used wooden pegs, shreddies, orzo pasta and scrunched up paper
  2. Use a spoon implement to pick up the items from the cups
  3. Carefully place them in the ice cube tray.

Picking Leaves

Once we had made our bag we went outside to pick some leaves to go inside.

  1. Go outside and take your bag with you
  2. Pick the leaves off the trees (this is hard for little fingers)
  3. Place them in your bag
  4. Keep going till the bag is full!

Sticker Fun!

My daughter’s name starts with the sound ‘E’, so one of our activities during phonics this week was to create the sound ‘E’ using stickers.

  1. Grab some paper or card
  2. Buy some stickers that are large enough for little fingers
  3. Draw the letter on the paper
  4. As your child to peel and place the stickers on the lines
  5. Cut the letter out

Once your child has done their name, they might like to do members of their family’s letters.

Easy Peelers

This is so easy.

  1. For snack time, eat satsumas.
  2. Ask your child to peel their own. They might need you to start the peeling process for them. It’s great for their fine motor skills and dividing the segments up is too!

The Tong Activity
  1. Get a tin, tongs and some cutlery.
  2. Using one hand your child uses the tongs to pick up the cutlery one at a time.
  3. Pop them in the tin. Amusement all round!

The Toilet Roll Activity

Keep your toilet rolls! Not only is the toilet paper like gold dust right now, the rolls are too!

  1. Ask your child to colour in the toilet rolls.
  2. Then cut them into small strips.
  3. Using one hand, use the straw to pick up the toilet roll, one piece at a time
  4. Place the toilet roll in the pot. If you don’t have a straw a pencil will do!

The Boxes Activity

Have a rummage through your kitchen cupboards and look for boxes, tins, tubs, containers with lids.

  1. Take all of the lids off and place the items and lids on the table or ground.
  2. Ask your child to match all of the lids with their container and then put them on. The turning is great for their fine motor development.

Sponge Fun

Have another rummage and find some sponges, cloths and squeezable bath toys.

  1. Get a bowl, or truff tray and fill it with water and washing up liquid.
  2. Ask your child to put the sponge or cloth in the water and squeeze all of the water out. Then give the bath toys a go!

Farm Animal Rescue


  1. Get a baking tray and turn it upside down.
  2. Place animals on top and tape them on with masking tape.
  3. Ask your child to help to rescue the animals by peeling off the masking tape. Can they then form a ball with the masking tape?

Cling Film Wrap
  1. Get a roll of cling film and ask your child to unravel it.
  2. Using scissors cut the cling film into pieces.
  3. Ask your child to wrap up the food in cling film.
  4. Then, ask them to unwrap it. It’s a tricky task for their little fingers!

Untangle the Hangers

Help your hangers are in a tangle!

  1. Bring down some hangers from your wardrobe
  2. Put them in a pile
  3. Ask your child to untangle them and place them in a pile

Then take them outside and hang them on trees. Find the activity in the ‘In the garden’ section here.

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