Everyday fine motor play in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on February 4, 2012

in Bam Radio Series on Early Childhood Education, Everyday Fine Motor, Everyday Fine Motor Play, Fine Motor Skills, motor skills, Powered by Play

This week’s Bam Radio show is titled, Fine Motor Skills: What Are They, Why Are They Too Important to Overlook?” and before you go any further, take a minute to listen to what the experts have to say!  You can view the show and listen here or here!

Rae Pica with Dr. Christy Isbell, Allison Sampish, Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed.

“The development of fine motor skills are often a casualty of the rush to get young children up to academic speed. In this segment our guests explain why fine motor skills are a critical building block for higher learning and should never be overlooked” (Bam Radio)

Promoting fine motor skills

I am always exploring new ways I can promote the use of fine motor skills into my classroom….

I may set out something like picking up and sorting pom-poms with tweezers or chopsticks into colorful bags….

Whether the children use my homemade straw tweezers or they use their hands to pick up, manipulate, and move the pompoms – they are using their fine motor skills in the process…

Promoting the use of fine motor skills is an important part of preparing young children to write, catch and throw a ball, type on a computer, open a door, and the list goes on. As young children develop the muscles in their hands, they develop the strength they need to complete fine motor processes that will play a valuable part in higher level learning…

Often times, I will see teachers or parents who will insist on a child holding a pencil using the “correct pencil holding form” but the reality is, young children are still developing the muscles they need in their hands and fingers to hold a pencil correctly. Thus, young children will start off holding a pencil or crayon in a way that looks awkward or incorrect but given time and good opportunities to build fine motor strength and skills, most children will self-correct on their pencil grip when their fine motor control and strength gets to the point that they can manage the pencil with the correct grip…

There are lots of ways to promote fine motor skills and help children build fine motor strength including cutting with scissors…

Squeezing, manipulating, pinching, and rolling playdough….

Weaving, lacing, and sewing…

Peeling and sticking stickers…

Scooping, pouring, mixing and the list goes on…

There are opportunities all throughout the preschool classroom to promote fine motor development!

Homemade Tweezers

I made 2 different versions of homemade tweezers from straws.  This isn’t a perfect solution to real tweezers but it does provide a new experience for preschoolers to try out.  The straws I used were very nice and sturdy from Meijer…

Version 1: Cut one long straw in half. Hot glue a skinnier piece of straw inside the end of each bigger straw.

Version 2: Bend the straw in half – add tape to hold


Straws, tape

If you have a fun idea that promotes fine motor skills in young children, I invite you to add your idea to the linky below!  Adding a link back from your article to this article would be greatly appreciated.

Links to Grow on…

Pencil Grasp Development by OT Mom

Kindergarten Hand Exercises by OT MOM

Handwriting: Pre-K Pages

Fine Motor Development by School Sparks

30 Kids Activities and Materials for Promoting Fine Motor Skills from Hands on: as we grow

This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Sharing the wonders of early learning in action!

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