How to Develop Fine Motor Skills with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Inside this post: How to Develop Fine Motor Skills with Toddlers and Preschoolers

You are a parent wondering why your child isn’t writing his name yet. Or you are a teacher who is looking for ways to strengthen your young students’ hands and fingers in the classroom.

I understand your concern, because I’ve been there. And over the years I’ve found age-appropriate activities that help develop fine motor skills. These can be done in a classroom or at home.

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite toddler and preschool fine motor activities.

how to strengthen fine motor skills toddlers preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

How to Develop Fine Motor Skills with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Here are 6 of our favorite ways to work on fine motor skills:

Play Dough

Playdough is one of the easiest fine motor activities to put together, even for young toddlers. We use playdough with every age group in our preschool, as those little hands and fingers are continuing to develop at every stage.

If you don’t already have a favorite recipe, you can find ours in this post.

fine motor strengthening with play dough

More to read: Fine Motor Squeezing Activity Using Play dough

 

Basters

Squeezing works the smaller muscles in the palm of the hand, as well and the thumb and fingers. We use basters with our toddlers who have less control than our preschoolers.

Looking for a fun way to strengthen toddler fine motor skills? Here's a fun water activity using basters!

More to read: Toddler Fine Motor Water Activity

 

Pipettes and Eye Droppers

As our toddlers transition to preschoolers, their fine motor control is a bit stronger. Most can begin using pipettes or eye droppers with water or watercolors. A lot of concentration is needed while using these tools, and it can be a nice calming activity for busy children.

Preschool Fine Motor Activity

More to read: Preschool Fine Motor Transferring Activity

fine motor art in preschool

More to read: Fine Motor Watercolor Activity

 

Tongs and Tweezers

Using tongs and tweezers is another wonderful way to work those hands and fingers! We start with tongs because they are easier to squeeze open. As those little hands and fingers get stronger, we switch to tweezers.

Fine Motor with Sunflowers

More to read: Fine Motor Tweezing Activity

 

Threading

Threading beads and using lacing cards also strengthen fine motor development. We start with large stringing beads and eventually switch to cut straws and then pony beads.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

More to read:  Motor Rainbow Craft

 

The Basics of Fine Motor Skills

Because I know how important it is to strengthen those hands and fingers, I’ve partnered with Heather from Growing Hands-On Kids as she launches her brand new book called Basics of Fine Motor Skills.

In Basics of Fine Motor Skills, you’ll learn which skills are important for fine motor development. You will also learn what fine motor development looks in children at all age levels.

 

Preschool Fine Motor Development

This is the perfect resource for parents, teachers, and therapists.

A 70 page PDF/digital download or 90 page paperback option is available. The paperback version is available on Amazon, so if you choose this option you will be redirected to Amazon to purchase.

 

 Click here for more information!


 

how to strengthen fine motor skills toddlers preschoolers

 

More fine motor activities:

Fine Motor Activities That Can Be Done at Home      fine motor activities all year long      preschool writing

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

I love building multiple skills with one activity. This fine motor rainbow craft for preschoolers does just that. We have not only fine motor building taking place, but also color recognition AND math!

Recently I shared our rainbow color sorting sensory bin. Our preschoolers were so excited to learn the order of the colors that I put together a 3-dimensional rainbow craft. We then used this as a prop while reading the book “Planting a Rainbow“.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

What we used:

  • Rainbow printable (scroll down for the link to download)
  • Beads in rainbow colors
  • Pipe cleaners in rainbow colors
  • Small clear or white plastic cups
  • Cotton balls
  • White glue



Putting it together:

I sorted the beads and placed them in matching bowls. (Not a requirement. I just happened to have some on hand.) I made 4 copies of the rainbow sheet and put them in clear plastic pockets. (Can I just say how much I love having these pockets? No laminator needed and I can reuse them with other activities!)

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

I first invited the preschoolers to place one bead on the matching color on the printable. (1:1 correspondence is another important math skill for preschoolers!)

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

The beads were then threaded in rainbow order onto the pipe cleaner. (I bent the end of one side of the pipe cleaner to keep the beads from falling off.)

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

 

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

Once those were finished, I got the white cups ready. Each rainbow needs 2 cups, 1 for each end.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

I poked a hole in the bottom of each cup and pushed the ends of the pipe cleaners into them and then twisted the ends inside the cup so they wouldn’t pull through.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

The next step was brushing the glue on the cups.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

And then sticking the cotton balls on the glue for clouds.

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

When they were dry, we used them during circle time while reading Planting a Rainbow. As we came to each color in the book, we touched that color bead on our rainbow.

Free download: Rainbow Color Sorting Sheet

Fine Motor Rainbow Craft for Preschoolers

More ideas to try:

15 Rainbow Science Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers      Fun Rainbow Sensory Bin     Rainbow Crayons - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




15 Quiet Time Activities for Preschoolers

You need some calm, quiet time to get a few things done around the house. You have a younger child who is taking a nap. You are trying to get dinner on the table. Or you are a teacher who needs to calm an extra-energetic classroom. (Don’t I know those days!) You need something to hand them that will give you those more peaceful moments. You need one of these 15 quiet time activities for preschoolers.

Turn on some soft classical music.

Take some deep breaths.

You’ll be happy to have these materials when you need them!

 

15 Quiet Time Activities for Preschoolers

 

 This post contains affiliate links for  your convenience.

 

15 Quiet Time Activities for Preschoolers

15 Quiet Time Activities for Preschoolers

Related posts:

Preschool Name Recognition - Ideas for Preschool Early Literacy - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds      how to make math fun for preschoolers      Shape Activities for Preschoolers

 

Learn: Hands-On Learning Plans for Your Preschooler

These are 35 hands on learning activities that you will actually do with your preschooler that make it fun to learn. You’ll be guided on how to find that extra 15 minutes (that you don’t have) to make time for the most important part of your life: your family.

For only $9.00 you can buy it now.

hands-on learning activities


 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 




55+ Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine motor development is an important part of the toddler and early childhood years. In order to learn how to draw and write, the hands must be strong enough to hold writing tools. Fine motor is also necessary for independence. Think about zipping a coat, buttoning pants, opening a door, getting a glass of water. These all require fine muscle control. And yet, according to some studies, children are entering kindergarten lacking fine motor skills. And then the question is asked how? How can we help our young children build strong hands? I hear this question often from my own preschool parents. And so I thought I’d put together a list of 55+ fine motor activities for home.

Yep, over 55 easy ways to help your young children strengthen their break from school skills. Simple ideas your children can do at the kitchen table, in the bathtub, or outside. 50+ fine motor ideas that use simple materials, many of which you already have in your home. Activities that are perfect when your children are on break from school, the weekend, a rainy day, any time!

Fine Motor Activities That Can Be Done at Home

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

This collection of fine motor activities is geared for children ages 2-5. Some will be more suitable for younger children, some for older. Choose the activities you feel are best for your children and build on them as they are ready.

 

55+ Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Fine Motor Activities for Home

Bonus! Grab your copy of this fun scissor practice packet:

Preschool Scissor practice activities

32 pages total of scissor practice activities in a age appropriate and developmental sequence. For preschool through 1st graders.  For only $2.99 download your PDF digital product now!

 

 

Join me over at Melissa & Doug’s blog to find more fine motor activities that can be done at home!

Related posts:

Preschool Name Recognition - Ideas for Preschool Early Literacy - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds      how to make math fun for preschoolers      Shape Activities for PreschoolersFine Motor Activities That Can Be Done at Home

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 




Easy Yarn Wrapped Christmas Tree Activity

 

We have a lot going on in our preschool during December, so we wanted an easy yarn wrapped Christmas tree activity at our fine motor table for our preschoolers. I’ve seen very similar activities all over the internet, so I won’t take credit for it. In fact, it was my wonderful co-teacher who thought to add it to our fine motor table. On this particular day, we had a birthday treat being prepared at one table and the start of a new ornament going on at another table. Adding this calm, quiet activity to the fine motor table was just what we needed. So, if you are looking for something similar, you will want to try this. It requires 2 materials. Yep, that is it.

 

easy christmas activity for preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Easy Yarn Wrapped Christmas Tree Activity

All you will need for this easy yarn wrapped Christmas tree activity is some yarn and some paint swatches. We used white yarn and red yarn and let the preschoolers decide what color they wanted. We had red and green paint swatches, but after taking the photo we decided to just use the green for this particular activity. I am saving the red for some candy canes or stockings later.

 

easy christmas activity for preschoolers

 

 

I cut the green paint swatches into triangles and then used scissors to create fringe up and down.

 

easy christmas activity for preschoolers

 

I then cut yarn and pushed it through the first cut in the triangle and showed the preschoolers how to wrap the yarn from one side to the other.

 

easy christmas activity for preschoolers

 

It took great concentration.

 

easy christmas activity for preschoolers

 

easy christmas activity for preschoolers

 

When they were finished, I made sure the end of the yarn was tucked into the last slot. A wonderful fine motor activity for preschoolers that is simple to put together.

 

easy christmas activity for preschoolers

easy christmas activity for preschoolers

 

More Christmas activities:

christmas yarn-wrapped trees


 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Simple Halloween Sorting Activity

You know when you see something that you just have to have for a preschool activity? And you purchase it and are so excited when it arrives in the mail that your family rolls their eyes as you excitedly tear open the package? Yeah, that happened to me recently. And I think you teachers will get it. I found the perfect thing for a simple Halloween sorting activity.

Pumpkin jingle bells!

Seriously, you guys, these are the cutest things ever! You might recall my love for using magnet wands with jingle bells in December. Oh, and we also painted with jingle bells. Well, now we can have fun with these cute pumpkin jingle bells in October!

Giddy, I tell you!

Simple Halloween Sorting Activity

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Simple Halloween Sorting Activity

By now you must want to know where I found these, right? Well, I’m a little addicted to Amazon. It’s my go to when I am looking for materials because I love how it comes right to my doorstep. I found the orange wand there, too. Because I just had to be color-coordinated!

We read a couple of fun pumpkin books and had pumpkins in most areas of the classroom. Very fun!

 


Simple Halloween Sorting Activity

I took an empty egg carton and colored the bottoms of each cup the same colors as the pumpkins.

Simple Halloween Sorting Activity

The goal was to transfer the bells from the dish to the egg carton using the magnetic wand, releasing the bell in the matching cup.

Simple Halloween Sorting Activity

Simple Halloween Sorting Activity

We love using magnet wands with our activities. They are not only fun for our preschoolers, but they also build hand-eye coordination and strengthen fine motor skills.

Simple Halloween Sorting Activity

And see how nicely they fit in those small hands? The perfect size!

Simple Halloween Sorting Activity

These independent activities can be done easily at home, too. Just store everything in a gallon-size plastic storage bag and it’s ready to go!

Simple Halloween Sorting Activity

Simple Halloween Sorting Activity

Bonus! Grab this fall literacy collection for your preschoolers! Over 66 pages of learning activities to go with your fall theme. Buy it now for only $4!

Fall Literacy Activities for Preschoolers

More fall ideas for preschoolers:

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall - 5 hands-on activities from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds      Preschool Apple Theme Ideas - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     20 Free Fall Printables for Preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 




Building Fine Motor Skills with Lego Bricks

Preschoolers with weak fine motor skills can be frustrated when they try to use tools such as paint brushes and markers. In fact, they might stay away from them altogether. It’s important to find playful activities that not only strengthen those fine motor muscles, but also build the child’s confidence. Building fine motor skills with Lego bricks has been very successful. Young children love building with them, and yet they are also strengthening those hands and fingers.

learning with lego - 100+ activities for kids

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. I was given a free copy of The Official Guide to Learning with Lego. The activities I am sharing today are from that book, and all opinions are my own.

Building Fine Motor Skills with Lego

We’ve used Lego bricks for many playful learning activities, but today I would like to share 2 that I used with one of our students who has weak fine motor skills. I chose these because they allowed building, which this student loves, and she could use various parts of her body, including her core.

Duplo Ring Toss

For this activity we used pipe cleaners and Lego Duplo bricks. Miss N twisted the ends of the pipe cleaners to make rings. This was a bit challenging for her, since it required using the tips of her thumb and fingers.

learning with lego - 100+ activities for kids

She then stacked a few rows of Duplo bricks to make towers.

learning with lego - 100+ activities for kids

It was then ring toss time! The goal was to aim the ring so that it would wrap around one of the towers.

learning with lego - 100+ activities for kids

This was also a great way to work on hand-eye coordination as she aimed for the ring. Miss N tried this sitting in front of the towers, and then standing over them.

learning with lego - 100+ activities for kids

Fine Motor Bowling

We took the Duplo towers we had made for the ring toss activity and used them for bowling. Miss N rolled a golf ball towards the towers, trying to aim at a particular one so she could knock it over. Once again, she had to really focus and aim towards the tower. It took a few tries but because she was having so much fun, she did not give up in frustration as she tends to do with other fine motor activities.

learning with lego - 100+ activities for kids

learning with lego - 100+ activities for kids

When she finally successfully knocked a tower over, she was elated! She crawled towards the fallen tower and picked it back up again.

learning with lego - 100+ activities for kids

Miss N’s therapist encourages us to have her use her core muscles whenever we can. The more steady her core is, the easier it will be for her to use her hands and fingers. So I had her lie on her tummy and roll the ball. This was more of a challenge, but she accepted it!

Learning with Legos

Now, I wish I had come up with these 2 ideas on my own, but I didn’t. I found them a new book called The Unofficial Guide to Learning with Lego®. This book, written by some of my talented kid blogging friends, has over 100 totally awesome Lego learning ideas that children LOVE!

 

100+ Totally Awesome Lego Learning Ideas

 

We love Lego® in our toddler and preschool classrooms. In fact, as I write this, our theme this week in summer camp is all about Lego®! You might recall our Lego® camp last year when we played this fun color sorting game.  So, when the authors of this new book asked if I would try it out, how could I say no?

The unofficial guide to learning with Lego

The Unofficial Guide to Learning with Lego®  brings you over 100 awesome Lego®-based ideas that are perfect for educating in the classroom and at home. The book starts with the basics like learning colors and counting, all the way up to engineering and other STEM topics. (You might recall how we used our Duplo bricks in a STEM construction activity last year.)

learning with lego

 

 

This book includes projects that are adaptable to all ages, skill levels and cognitive abilities. It includes projects that use Lego bricks and projects that use Duplo. They’ve included math, reading, writing, science, social studies, and even emotional education.

You can get the book as an ebook, kindle, and print format for your convenience.

How do you use Lego for learning? Please leave a comment! If you post on social media, you can use the hashtag #learningwithlego so we can easily spot the fun you’ve had!

Fine motor strength - learning with Lego


 

More fine motor ideas:

Preschool Fine Motor Activity Transferring Water      Fine Motor with Sunflowers     fine motor art in preschool

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




15 Fun Water Activities for Preschoolers

Preschoolers love water. Give them a tub of water and a cup and they will fill and pour water over and over again. So why not add on to this with some fun hands-on learning? I’ve put together 15 fun water activities for preschoolers. Activities that allow them to:

  • Feel
  • Squeeze
  • Pour
  • Poke
  • Explore

These activities can be done year round, in the classroom or at home. With one child or many children.

And they are easy. We like that!

 

water activities for preschoolers - teaching 2 and 3 year olds

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

15 Fun Water Activities for Preschoolers

 

Color Sorting: This activity not only builds color recognition skills, but fine motor, too!

Water Squeezing: Have you ever used turkey basters in your water table? This is a favorite with our preschoolers! (Our toddlers love it, too.)

Transferring Water: Once young children can master turkey basters, they are ready for pipettes. This fine motor activity is also nice for calming down energetic children.

Washing with Water: Add small sponges to soapy water, along with some favorite toys to wash. In this particular activity, we used our collection of rubber ducks.

water activities for preschoolers

Kitchen Water Xylophone: Fill jars with various amounts of water and notice how different they sound. (Sugar, Spice and Glitter)

Leak-Proof Bag: Stick pencils through a plastic bag filled with water and it won’t leak! (Paging Fun Mums)

Keeping Paper Dry Science Activity: This water science idea will be like magic to preschoolers! (Pleasantest Thing)

Soapy Sea Foam Sensory Play: The colors in this activity are beautiful! Just add shells and ocean animals and pretend you are at the ocean. (Two-Daloo)

water activities for preschoolers

Pool Noodle Boat Fun: What a fun idea to use cut pieces of pool noodles as boats for the water table! (FSPDT)

Floating Chalk Prints: Wonder what happens when you shave colored chalk and add it to a pan of water? And then place a piece of paper on top? Try this activity and find out! (Picklebums)

Water Wall: You can make a homemade water wall for the backyard that your children will love! (Little Bins for Little Hands)

water activities for preschoolers

Bottle Caps and Water: Fill caps with water using pipettes. Another fun way to work on those fine motor skills! (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

Sink or Float: Collect items from nature and see which ones sink and float. (Laughing Kids Learn)

Experiment with the Changing Shape of Water: Find out what happens when water is poured into different shaped containers. (Stir the Wonder)

How Many Drops of Water Fit on One Penny: This activity will add some fun STEM into your day! (Our Whimsical Days)

water activities for preschoolers

What are your preschooler’s favorite water activities?

 

Water activities for preschoolers - fun ways to explore! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

More fun ideas to try:

Gardening Ideas for Kids - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds      preschool color activities     learning games for preschoolers

 

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Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Rainbow Threading Activity for Preschoolers

 

Making a necklace is a great fine motor rainbow threading activity for preschoolers. Each year we do some version of this, such as last year when we made a necklace with cut straws. I did this particular activity during small groups. I showed them a picture of a rainbow and they sorted the colored macaroni so that they had one of each color. Then, we worked on fine motor skills by threading them with plastic needles. They were so excited to wear their necklaces!

 

Rainbow Activity for Preschoolers

 

This post contains affiliate link for your convenience.

 

Rainbow Threading Activity for Preschoolers

 

I love planning rainbow activities. You’ve seen how we’ve made a huge color wheel, and how we made rainbows with dyed rope. So, by the time we make our rainbow necklaces, our preschoolers have a pretty good idea of what colors they will be using.

 

What you will need for this rainbow necklace activity:

Rainbow Activity for Preschoolers

 

Preparing this activity:

  • Dye your macaroni the colors of the rainbow. I use the same method for macaroni as when we dyed our rice for our sunflower sensory bin.
  • Cut the yarn so that it will fit around a preschooler’s neck. (You can be generous and then cut the yarn later if it’s too large.)
  • Tie the yarn to the plastic needle and place the dyed macaroni in separate containers.

 

Rainbow Activity for Preschoolers

Making these rainbow necklaces:

Show your children how to hold the needle (attached to the yarn) with their “worker hand” (dominant hand). Then, with their “helper hand” (non-dominant hand), slip the macaroni through the needle and thread. (Note: You can take one of the macaroni pieces and tie it on the end of the yarn so the other macaroni pieces don’t slide off the yarn. Then, when the necklace is finished, untie that piece and let it join the others.)

 

Rainbow Activity for Preschoolers

Rainbow Activity for Preschoolers

Rainbow Activity for Preschoolers

Rainbow Activity for Preschoolers

When the threading is completed:

Remove the plastic needle and connect the necklace by tying it.

 

Rainbow Activity for Preschoolers

 

 

More ideas your preschoolers will like:

butterfly craft for preschoolers      Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers     spring activities for preschoolers

 

 


 

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Easy Playdough Snowman Building Activity

Winter is here! And that means adding lots of snow activities to your winter theme. That also means making playdough snowmen. You might remember our love for snowmen, like when we stamped them with bubble wrap, and when we made “snow” covered snowmen. Well, now we’ve made them out of playdough, too! Our toddlers and preschoolers loved this easy playdough snowman building activity!

This year we happened to get a bit of snow right before we put together this activity. As you know, it’s always much more meaningful when children have experienced it in real life. So, when they arrived after experiencing some snow, they were so excited to build snowmen!

This is a super easy and fun winter activity.

Playdough Snowmen - Fun for toddlers and preschoolers! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Playdough Snowmen - Fun for toddlers and preschoolers! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Easy Playdough Snowman Building Activity

 

 

First, you need the playdough.

This is our favorite play dough recipe, but we double this since we have 10-16 children.

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cream of tartar (we buy ours in bulk at our local grocery store)

1/2 cup salt
1 1/2 cups water

Place the water in a pot and bring it to a boil and then add the rest of the ingredients. Cook until the dough thickens and separates from the sides of the pot.

Place the dough on a flat surface and knead with a bit more flour until it is no longer sticky. Place in an airtight container.


 

Setting up this activity:

We set up our playdough table with the white playdough, rolling pins, snowman stampers, and small pieces to embellish the snowmen. (We used googly eyes, buttons, and colored matchsticks.)

 

Playdough Snowmen - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Making the snowmen:

We learned how to roll the playdough in the palms of our hands to make balls and long thin pieces.

At first they looked like this:

Playdough Snowmen - Fun for toddlers and preschoolers! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

And then like this:

Playdough Snowmen - Fun for toddlers and preschoolers! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

And then, they started forming smaller balls to make more defined snowmen.

Playdough Snowmen - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Playdough Snowmen - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Playdough Snowmen - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

They were very proud to show off their snowmen!

Playdough Snowmen - Fun for toddlers and preschoolers! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Playdough Snowmen - Fun for toddlers and preschoolers! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

As we were getting ready to clean everything up, I noticed that one little guy had made a series of snowmen. He said they were a family.

Playdough Snowmen - Fun for toddlers and preschoolers! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds


Looking for more winter ideas?

Winter Math Ideas for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds      Keep kids busy during winter break with these fun activities! - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     Kids Winter Ice Activities

Playdough Snowmen - Fun for toddlers and preschoolers! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

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Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Gingerbread Suncatcher Ornament

We welcome December each year with a gingerbread theme that always includes an ornament. We’ve made play dough gingerbread ornaments and rich brown clay gingerbread ornaments. This year I tried something completely different: a gingerbread suncatcher ornament. I wanted something colorful that could be either added to a Christmas tree, or hung in the window to brighten those dreary winter days. I also wanted an ornament that the preschoolers could reposition the pieces. I am quite pleased with how they turned out and so are the children!

Gingerbread Suncatcher Ornament for Kids

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Gingerbread Suncatcher Ornament

 

What you will need:

 

  • White flimsy paper plates or white card stock
  • Sticky (Contact) paper
  • Tissue paper squares in various colors
  • Buttons
  • Wiggle eyes
  • Assorted colors of yarn
  • Double-sided clear tape

 

Preparing the gingerbread suncatcher ornament:

Use some sort of gingerbread template to trace on the paper. (I used one of our large gingerbread cookie cutters.) Cut the shape from the center, so that you have negative space. (I used an X-acto knife.)

 

Cut the contact paper so that it covers the negative gingerbread space. Place it sticky side down on one side of the paper.

 

Gingerbread Suncatcher Ornament for Kids

 

 

Creating the gingerbread suncatcher:

Press the tissue paper squares on top of the sticky side of the contact paper.

Gingerbread Suncatcher Ornament for Kids

Gingerbread Suncatcher Ornament for Kids

 

Shaping the ornaments into gingerbread shapes:

After tissue paper squares are stuck on the paper, cut another piece of contact paper to cover the open side. Now both sticky sides are touching each other, so the tissue paper is secure. Cut around the gingerbread shape so that you leave white trim around the entire shape. Punch a hole near the top of the gingerbread ornament.

Gingerbread Suncatcher Ornament for Kids

Adding details to the gingerbread suncatcher ornament:

Tie a piece of yarn through hole near the top of the ornament to create a loop for hanging. Place double-sided tape on the areas where the features will be placed.

Gingerbread Suncatcher Ornament for Kids

What’s fun is that even once the materials are placed on the tape, they can be moved. The children loved repositioning the pieces until they were satisfied with the placement.

Gingerbread Suncatcher Ornament for Kids

Of course, what I love is that they have added their own touches. The gingerbread man pictured below was made by 3 year old Finley. “He has a mustache!” Oh, and that is also a mustache on the left foot.

Gingerbread Suncatcher Ornament for Kids

When finished, the gingerbread suncatcher ornament can be hung in the window or on the Christmas tree.

Gingerbread Suncatcher Ornament for Kids

Gingerbread Suncatcher Ornament for Kids - Add some fine motor fun! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Gingerbread Suncatcher Ornament for Kids - Add some fine motor fun! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

More Christmas ideas for young children:

 

Easy Christmas Ideas for Little Kids     Christmas Painting Activities      Christmas Sensory Play Activities

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Preschool Christmas Yarn Wrapped Stars

Are you looking for an easy Christmas activity that requires no paint, no glue, and can be taken home that very same day? If so, you will love these preschool Christmas yarn wrapped stars. We’ve done yarn wrapping before, such as when we made our yarn wrapped Christmas trees. There is something very calming about this activity, so it’s nice to pull out during quiet time. It’s also perfect for the fine motor center in your classroom. Once finished, you could tie the ends and turn it into an ornament, or you could untie it for more fun later.

Preschool Christmas Yarn Wrapped Stars

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Preschool Christmas Yarn Wrapped Stars

 

What you will need to make preschool Christmas yarn wrapped stars:

 

  • Card stock cut into star shapes
  • Yarn

 

Preschool Christmas Yarn Wrapped Stars

 

Prepping this activity:

Tape one end of the yarn to the back of the star. This will hold the yarn securely as the other end is wrapped around it.

 

Preschool Christmas Yarn Wrapped Stars

 

The invitation:

Model how the paper is held with the “helper” (non-dominant) hand while the “worker” (dominant) hand holds the thread and wraps it around the star. It might take them awhile to pull the yarn tight. If this continues to happen, shorten the yarn so it’s easier to pull.

 

Preschool Christmas Yarn Wrapped Stars

Preschool Christmas Yarn Wrapped Stars

Preschool Christmas Yarn Wrapped Stars

When finished:

If there is leftover yarn hanging off, snip it. Then tie the end around some of the wrapped yarn.

 

Preschool Christmas Yarn Wrapped Stars

And that’s it! Super easy!

Preschool Christmas Yarn Wrapped Stars

 

 

Favorite Christmas books to read with your children:

 

 


Make sure to follow our Christmas pin board for lots more toddler and preschool activities!

 

More ideas to try:

20 Christmas Snacks Kids Will Love - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds       Keep kids busy during winter break with these fun activities! - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     Winter Crafts for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Fall Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers

Pumpkins! Leaves! Pine Cones! Apples! Ah yes, fall is here. You will find all of these in our favorite collection of fall fine motor activities for preschoolers.

Once I started searching, I was amazed at the variety! I enjoyed putting together this collection. These fine motor activities can be done in a classroom or at home. Each of these preschool fine motor activities for fall helps develop fine motor muscles that will be necessary for writing later on.

 

Are you following my fine motor board?

 

 

 

preschool fine motor activities

 

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Fall Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers

 

fine motor activities

Fall Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers with Pine Cones:

  1. Use pipettes to drop paint onto pinecones.
  2. Work those weaving skills with pine cones! (Rainy Day Mum)
  3. Stick feathers in a pine cone for a turkey. (Two-da-loo)
  4. Make pine cones look frosty with white paint and glitter.
  5. Pour paint on pine cones. (Growing a Jeweled Rose)
  6. Add pinecones to a sensory bin. (Carrots Are Orange)
  7. Use your fine motor skills to make a bird feeder. (Natural Mommie)
  8. Explore pinecones with tongs and ladles. (We Can Do All Things)
  9. Make a pumpkin. (Free Kids’ Craft)
  10. Paint them with spice paints. (Sow Sprout Play)
  11. Put pinecones in a sensory bin. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
  12. Work with kitchen utensils while make pinecone and cinnamon sensory soup. (And Next Comes L)

fine motor activities

Fall Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers with Pumpkins:

  1. Fall Fine Motor Activities for PreschoolersGather your Mr. Potato Head pieces to make a silly Mr. Gourd Head. (My Nearest and Dearest)
  2. Spoon corn into small plastic pumpkins.
  3. Act out the Five Little Pumpkins poem with props that use clothespins. (Still Playing School)
  4. Add some plastic toys and have fun with easy pumpkin pie scented play dough. (Growing Hands On Kids)
  5. Make a pumpkin patch out of a shoe box for some fine motor fun.. (House of Burke)
  6. Print some fall play dough mats for your play dough table. (The Preschool Toolbox)
  7. Pound golf tees into pumpkins.
  8. Draw faces and add googly eyes to pumpkins. (Beauty Through Imperfection)

fine motor activities

Fall Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers with Leaves:

  1. Have fun with a leaf color sort felt mat. (Stir the Wonder)
  2. Drop watercolors onto tissue paper leaves.
  3. Use your fingers to wad up tissue paper to make fall leaves. (Kids Activities Blog)
  4. Paint leaves on a tree using Q-Tips. (Mess for Less)
  5. Punch holes in leaves for a fine motor threading activity. (Picklebums)
  6. Hypersensitive children will enjoy this simple fall leaf finger painting. (Teach Preschool)
  7. Pinch colored sand and placed it on a glued leaf outline. (Pre-Kinders)

fine motor activities

Fall Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers with Apples:

  1. Carve handles in apples and make prints.
  2. Tonging red and green apples (and other fall fine motor ideas). (Little Bins for Little Hands)
  3. Make an apple harvest pom pom tree. (Play Trains)
  4. Scoop miniature apples and place in burlap bags.
  5. Sew an apple. (The Jenny Evolution)
  6. Bob for apples using tongs. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
  7. Strengthen counting skills while using tongs in an apple number activity. (Fun-a-Day)
  8. Use spoons to scoop apples from the sensory table. (And Next Comes L)

Bonus! Grab your copy of this fun scissor practice packet:

Preschool Scissor practice activities

32 pages total of scissor practice activities in a age appropriate and developmental sequence. For preschool through 1st graders.  For only $2.99 download your PDF digital product now!


 More ideas for young children:

dramatic play pumpkin stand long   Apple Spin Art   Halloween Sensory Play for Preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Fine Motor Fun with Sunflowers

We love to explore sunflowers for science, then creating large sunflower art for our classroom wall. We ask our preschool families if they have any homegrown sunflowers that they’d like to donate. We then add some fine motor fun to our day with the sunflowers. We place the plants on a flat surface and invite our toddlers and preschoolers to remove the seeds with tongs. This is a much-loved activity!

Fine Motor with Sunflowers

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What you will need:

Sunflower plants, the bigger the better

Tweezers

Cups to put the seeds

 

Fine Motor with Sunflowers

 

Setting up the activity:

Place the plants on a flat surface. Show the children how to hold the tweezers so that they can remove the seeds from the plant.

 

Fine Motor with Sunflowers

Fine Motor with Sunflowers

 

How this activity strengthens fine motor skills:

 

 

Before children can be asked to hold a pencil, they need to have strength and dexterity in their hands and fingers. It’s important to provide activities that strengthen the hands and fingers during the toddler and early preschool years. Using tweezers is an excellent fine motor activity that builds fine motor development.

 

Fine Motor with Sunflowers

 

We’ve used this set of tweezers for fine motor activities throughout the year, in all areas of the classroom. These types of activities also build hand-eye coordination.

Some of our children put down the tweezers and used the tips of their thumbs and fingers to pull the seeds from the plant.

Fine Motor with Sunflowers

Fine Motor with Sunflowers

Fine Motor with Sunflowers

 

Once the seeds are removed from the plant, they can be used in artwork, in the sensory table, and removed from the shell to be tasted.

Fine Motor with Sunflowers

Books to go with the sunflower theme:

       

 

More activities for young children:

Fun Activities Using Sponges     Salt and Watercolor Painting    preschool math

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Fine Motor Skill Activities for Every Season

 

One of my favorite learning domains to write about is fine motor, so I decided to put together a post with fine motor skill  activities for every season of the year. There are so many ways to strengthen the shoulders, arms, wrists, hands and fingers before actual writing takes place. I prefer to use a variety of activities that allow plenty of exploration and open-ended play. While these activities are intended for preschoolers, some can be used with toddlers as well, perhaps adapting them a bit.

 

fine motor activities all year long

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Are you following my fine motor board on Pinterest?

 

No matter what season you are in right now, you can find ways to add fine motor to your children’s activities. I’ve categorized them by seasons for your convenience.

winter fine motor activities

Winter Fine Motor Activities

Christmas Fine Motor Activities

Yarn-Wrapped Christmas Trees

Simple Snowflake Ornaments

Watercolor Snowflakes

Threading with Jingle Bells (And Next Comes L)

Snowball Pick-Up Game (Stir the Wonder)

Build a Snowman (Happy Hooligans)

Lacing Mittens (Frugal Fun for Boys)

spring fine motor ideas

Spring Fine Motor Activities

Fine Motor Butterfly Craft

Yarn-Wrapped Tulips (School Time Snippets)

Cherry Blossom Trees (Sugar Aunts)

Rainbow Necklace (Hands On As We Grow)

Sticky Ladybug Fine Motor Craft (Blog Me Mom)

Sorting the Rainbow (Housing a Forest)

Eat Like a Bird (My Nearest and Dearest)

Liquid Watercolor Decorated Eggs (Mess for Less)

summer fine motor activities

Summer Fine Motor Activities

Chalk Activities for Kids

Fine Motor Octopus Craft (Buggy and Buddy)

Shell Sorting (No Time for Flash Cards)

Paint with Water (Still Playing School)

Spray Chalk (Growing a Jeweled Rose)

Melon Balling (Carrots are Orange)

Stringing Stars (Toddler Approved)

Watermelon Structures (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

 

fall fine motor ideas

 

Fall Fine Motor Activities

A Collection of Fine Motor Ideas for Fall

Hammering Pumpkins

Pine Cone Painting

Feather Beading (Sugar Aunts)

Bobbing for Apples (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

Fine Motor Turkeys (Teach Preschool)

preschool fine motor activities

Fine Motor Any Time of the Year

Colored Waterfalls

Fine Motor Squeezing Activities

Fine Motor Activities that Help Develop Color Recognition Skills

Fine Motor Fun on the Dry Erase Board

 

Some of our favorite fine motor tools:

 

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More ideas for young children:

Process Art for Preschoolers Using Watercolors long      Fine Motor Threading Activity      Preschool Color Game Using Legos

 

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18 Christmas Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers

My regular readers know how much I love any fine motor activities, all year long! But for a good reason, of course. So many parents want to know when their children can write. My answer is always once their arms, hands, and fingers are strong enough. There is so much that happens before a child  has the strength to hold a pencil correctly. I am thinking about this with every theme, every activity that we put together. Large groups, small groups, art, sensory….all over the classroom, indoors and out!  I was so happy to find these 18 Christmas fine motor activities for preschoolers. I hope you enjoy them, too!

 

18 preschool Christmas fine motor activities

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

18 Christmas Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers

Wrap yarn around paper Christmas trees.

Transfer jingle bells while handling a magnetic wand.

Move your entire arm while creating spin art trees.

 

Christmas fine motor activities

Move jingle bells from paint to paper for a fun fine motor experience.

Transfer small pom poms and other pieces to make a gingerbread man. (Living Montessori Now)

Practice fine motor skills by making a foam geoboard tree. (Fun-a-Day)

fine motor Christmas activities

Download free Christmas mats to use with play dough. (This Reading Mama)

Strengthen fine motor development by slicing fruit to make Santa snacks.

Turn a shoe box into a Christmas tree pom pom push box. (Free printable from The Activity Mom)

Sort green and red M&M’s and make a Christmas wreath using a free template. (Toddler Approved)

 

fine motor Christmas activities

Paint egg carton cups green and create a fine motor Christmas tree. (Sugar Aunts)

Transfer and sort jingle bells using tweezers. (I Can Teach My Child)

Create a sticky tree and make a mural with small pieces. (No Time for Flash Cards)

Push Christmas party picks into styrofoam to make a winter village. (And Next Comes L)

fine motor Christmas activities

Paint with pom poms on Christmas trees to work those little fingers. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

Keep kids busy with a Christmas cutting tray and strengthen those scissor skills. (Mama, Papa, Bubba)

Teach your children how to thread with homemade Christmas lacing cards that can be used as ornaments. (Happy Hooligans)

Use the fingers to press green paper onto sticky paper to make a mosaic Christmas tree for your window. (House of Burke)

fine motor Christmas activities

 

You will find hundreds of Christmas ideas on my Pinterest board!

 

18 preschool christmas fine motor activities


 

More fun activities for kids:

Keep kids busy during winter break with these fun activities! - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds      Winter Math Ideas for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     literacy games for preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds