Top 7 Fall Sensory Bins Toddlers and Preschoolers Love

Inside: Top 7 Fall Sensory Bins Toddlers and Preschoolers Love -These are our favorites with our 2 and 3 year olds!

After teaching for as long as I have (almost 2 decades as I write this), I’ve done a lot of observing toddlers and preschoolers at the sensory bin. No matter how we set that bin up, no matter how many hours we’ve thought of ways to add on to it, no matter all the little details we are so excited to add, there is one must.

There must be tools and materials that allow scooping and pouring.

That is what they love most about the sensory bin.

And so, I’m going to share our top 7 fall sensory bins toddlers and preschoolers love.

That all involve scooping and pouring.

That work perfectly with your fall theme.

 

Top 7 Fall Sensory Bins Toddlers and Preschoolers Love

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Top 7 Fall Sensory Bins Toddlers and Preschoolers Love

Our favorites, in no particular order.

1. Quick and Easy Fall Sensory Bin

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

Once you add the dyed rice, fill the bin with whatever fall materials you have!

LINK: Here’s a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

2. Apple Literacy Sensory Bin

Easy Apple Sensory Bin for Fall

Add some alphabet pebbles to your apple sensory bin for some letter recognition.

LINK: Easy Apple Sensory Bin for Fall

 

3. Fun Fall Farm Sensory Bin

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Have fun scooping and pouring corn kernels while also playing with the farm animals.

LINK: Fun Fall Farm Sensory Bin

4. Fall Pom Poms and Leaves Sensory Bin

Fine Motor Sensory Bin for Fall

Sort fall colored pom poms and scoop them into the matching-colored containers!

LINK: Fun Fall Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

 

5. Apple Cinnamon Sensory Bin

This fragrant sensory bin can be adapted for toddlers and preschoolers!

LINK: Fall Apple Sensory Bin for Toddlers and Preschoolers

 

6. Sunflower Sensory Bin

In early fall, while sunflowers are being harvested, invite your toddlers and preschoolers to have fun with this sensory bin.

LINK: Preschool Sensory Bin with Sunflowers

 

7. Halloween Sensory Play

Pumpkins and orange tea lights are part of this fun Halloween sensory bin.

LINK: Halloween Sensory Play for Preschoolers

 

Top 7 Fall Sensory Bins Toddlers and Preschoolers Love

 

I am proud to be a co-author of this awesome book, Learn with Play!

A giant collection of hands-on activities!

The perfect book to have on hand for inspiring you on holidays, weekends, or anytime the kids just need something to do!

More information: Learn with Play

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Here’s an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Inside: Here’s an easy farm sensory bin for preschoolers that involves lots of scooping and pouring – a perfect fall fine motor activity!

Whatever they find, they want to dump.

This is what young children do, but I admit it can be a challenge. Just after I set something up, it gets knocked down, carried away, dumped on the floor.

And while it can be frustrating, I know better. Having taught this age group for so long, after reading so many different articles about why they insist on dumping, I know they are not doing this to make life harder on adults.

And so, my friends, I have discovered how to redirect these busy little humans to a place where it is okay to dump. To pour. To spill.

What I’m going to share with you today is part of our farm theme, but it can be used with any theme, with many different types of materials.

Click here to pin!

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Here’s an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Notice I have included the word easy. That’s because I like easy. I need easy. And I suspect I’m not alone.

And I’ve found over the years that toddlers and preschoolers like simple sensory bin ideas. While they might enjoy the different props we put into the sensory bin, what they really love is the filler – the main ingredient – and what we’ve provided for them to scoop and pour those ingredients.

They want to scoop. They want to pour.

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

What you will need for this easy farm sensory bin:

  • Corn kernels
  • Farm animals
  • Any other small farm toys you might have (although not necessary)
  • Scoops
  • Cups

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

How to set up this farm sensory bin:

  • Pour the corn kernels into the bin.
  • Add farm animals and other materials.

I know – that sounds a bit too easy, right? Exactly.

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Before introducing your preschoolers to this farm sensory bin, get them acquainted with farm animals. We love to sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm while also reading some fun farm books.


 

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

You also might want to have some farm painting going on at the art table.

Oh, and you simply must let your preschoolers experience painting muddy pigs. In plastic bags! (Seriously, this was SO much fun!)

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Once you invite your preschoolers to explore this farm sensory bin, stand back and observe. And if they start dumping stuff in other areas of the classroom, redirect them to this bin.

“The puzzle pieces need to stay on the table, but you are welcome to pour corn kernels in the sensory bin.”

You’ve offered them a way to continue dumping, in an area that is more contained.

Here's an Easy Farm Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

How do you handle dumping materials in your preschool classroom? Make sure to join our Facebook community where lots of ideas are shared!

 

Planning a farm theme? We’ve done the work for you!

Preschool Farm Lesson Plans

Get ready for fun and learning with preschool unit lesson plans for the farm!

24 interactive thematic lesson plans for young children that cover:

  • Literacy
  • Math
  • Science
  • Fine Motor
  • Sensory
  • Gross Motor
  • Art
  • Social Studies
  • Music
  • Circle Time
  • Social/Emotional

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Here’s a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

Inside: Here’s a quick way to put together a fall sensory bin so that you aren’t running around at the last minute trying to find all the materials. You will feel much more organized!

Sometimes we have this great idea for the classroom, but end up exhausting ourselves as we rush around trying to gather materials.

You have this idea in your head. You might have thought about it while drinking coffee from your to-go cup as you headed to work. You might have thought about it days before, but forgot to gather everything together beforehand. Or maybe the idea you had in your head simply wasn’t coming together as you had planned.

When this happens, you end up feeling defeated before you’ve even opened your classroom door to greet your toddlers and preschoolers.

After having this happen to me countless times, I decided I needed a plan. And I was going to start this plan with a fall sensory bin that I just knew our children would love.

And it started with dyed rice.

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Here’s a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

Toddlers and preschoolers love to scoop and pour, so I first think about what the base of our sensory bin will be. I love using rice because we can easily color it to match the theme or season, and we can save it for another use. Since our preschool consists of 4 different classrooms, we share what we use. We have a dedicated shelf in our storage room that contains gallon-size Zip-Lock bags that are filled with different colors of rice. It really makes it easy to plan ahead when the rice is already dyed and ready to go.

But How to Dye Rice?

It’s easy!

  • Grab a gallon sized plastic baggie that can be sealed.
  • Pour about a cup of rice inside the bag.
  • Add about a teaspoon of white vinegar.
  • Add as much coloring as desired. (I love using Wilton icing color!)
  • Seal the bag and shake until the rice is coated well.
  • Open the bag and dump the rice onto a paper towel, spreading it out so it’s a very thin layer.
  • Allow to dry thoroughly.

If you want to have different colors of rice, do the above procedure for each color and then, when dry, mix the colors.

Once you have your main ingredient ready to go, it’s easy to gather whatever other items you want to add.

For this fall sensory bin, I added:

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

When I arrived that morning, all I had to do was dump the dyed rice into the sensory bin and add the other materials.

No racing around at the last minute.

I had time to put a few other activities together before greeting the children.

That’s exactly how I like my mornings to start!

How This Fall Sensory Bin is Used

Toddlers will really be into the scooping and pouring. This is always one of their favorite things to do, and it’s a great way to develop those fine motor muscles.

Related: Fine Motor Squeezing Activities

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

At first they will want to use their hands. The feeling of the rice slipping between their fingers is a great sensory experience.

 

You can see that in this video I took in the classroom:

 

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

We talked about how the rice falling into the container sounded like rain.

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

As their hands and fingers strengthen, they will start wanting to use the tools that are provided. In this case, it was small scoops. We also provided tweezers for our preschoolers.

We talked about how the rice falling into the container sounded like rain.

Preschoolers will start noticing the other materials in the bin.

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

I wanted to add some color sorting, so I found some colored plastic containers at the dollar store that were the same color as the felt apples.

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

How to Alter this Activity for Other Themes and Seasons

Once we pack up this sensory bin, the rice can be used for other themes and seasons. For example, this red and green rice can be used again at Christmas along with some big jingle bells and tongs. Brown rice can be used in a gardening sensory bin and also a forest sensory bin. Yellow rice can be used in a sunflower sensory bin as well as a summer weather sensory bin. See what I’m getting at? Make it easy on yourself!

Related: 15 Quiet Time Activities

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

Discover the magic of glorious, calm, and peaceful days with kids!

quiet bins for preschoolers

A Year of Educational Quiet Bins: TELL ME MORE ABOUT THEM!

 

Here's a Quick Way to Put Together a Fall Sensory Bin

 

 


Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 




Easy Apple Sensory Bin for Fall

Inside: Add some fine motor strengthening with this easy apple sensory bin for fall!

Our first fall theme is apples. We make applesauce, we sort and count apples, and, of course, we fill our sensory bins with apples, too.

Well, not real apples. We happened to have some we borrowed from an apple attribute game. Since part of the goal for this apple sensory bin is to strengthen those hands, we added our favorite tongs.

And because I love activities with multi-skills working, we threw in some alphabet pebbles for some early literacy.

Sounds fun, right? Our preschoolers would agree!

Easy Apple Sensory Bin for Fall

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Easy Apple Sensory Bin for Fall

First, you will need a filler. We used uncooked rice that was dyed brown. If you’d like to try this but have never dyed  your own rice before, you can see how we do so in our sunflower sensory bin post.

Easy Apple Sensory Bin for Fall

Then, we added the apples. Any type pretend apples will work.

We also tossed in the alphabet pebbles for some literacy fun.

Easy Apple Sensory Bin for Fall

Add tweezers for some additional fine motor practice.

Easy Apple Sensory Bin for Fall

At first the children used both hands to squeeze the tweezers open and closed.

Easy Apple Sensory Bin for Fall

Once I modeled how to use them a few times, most of the children were able to switch from using the entire hand (or both hands) to just using the fingers and thumbs. They used the tweezers to pick up the small grains of rice and the alphabet pebbles.

They used their hands to pick up and transfer the apples, putting them inside various containers.

Easy Apple Sensory Bin for Fall

For younger children who cannot yet master the tweezers, small shovels and/or scoops can be used.

Watch this easy apple sensory bin in action on You Tube:

Easy Apple Sensory Bin for Fall

 

More fall activities:

Apple Graph Activity with Free Printable Cards

Preschool Counting Activity with Apples

Apple Stand Dramatic Play

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 




Preschool Fine Motor Art: Colored Waterfalls

We love to use our pipettes for preschool fine motor art! Using pipettes strengthens the pincer grasp, important for future writing skills. In this activity, we set the paper vertically so that the paint could drip down the paper, creating a waterfall effect. It was a huge hit with our preschoolers!

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

This post contains affiliate links.

Preschool Fine Motor Art

Watch the video:

What you will need:

There are many different ways you could attach the paper horizontally. We use acrylic sign holders.

 

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

The process:

  • Pour the tempera paint into the containers and thin with a bit of water.
  • Add the pipettes to the containers.
  • Place the acrylic stand(s) on the table.
  • Attach a sheet of paper to each acrylic stand with some sort of clip.

Note: We placed a tray under the acrylic stand and then a paper towel on top of the tray to catch all the drips.

 

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

Each and every time we use pipettes, the children are fascinated how they can suction the paint in and out.

 

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

It takes a bit of practice using the pipettes, but once it’s mastered, the children love it!

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

Working on a vertical surface puts the wrist into an extended position. (You can read more about the benefits of working on a vertical surface here.)

 

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

 

Preschool Fine Motor Art

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

What is fun about this activity is how the paint travels down the paper. You can see here why we place paper towel under the acrylic sign holder!

Preschool Fine Motor Art

 

The colors merge as they flow down the paper.

 

Preschool Fine Motor Art

Colorful waterfalls!

Preschool Fine Motor Art

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!

Looking for more fine motor ideas?

Preschool Fine Motor Art


 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Fine Motor Squeezing Activities for Preschoolers

Parents are concerned if their preschoolers cannot write.  Their preschoolers might get frustrated when given writing tools. Hold on! Their little hands and fingers need to be strengthened. Good news! I have a collection of fine motor squeezing activities for preschoolers that can do just that.

We start working on strengthening fine motor skills in with our toddlers. You know those puzzles with the knobs? And play dough? Yep, that’s a start! But even as they transition from a toddler to a preschooler, their hands and fingers continue to need strengthening.

We work on fine motor activities every day, in playful ways. Our children have no idea the reason behind it, of course. They just know it’s fun!

 Ready to introduce some squeezing activities into your children’s day?

17 squeezing activities to strengthen hands

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Fine Motor Squeezing Activities for Preschoolers

 

 

  1. Preschoolers (toddlers, too) love to transfer water with turkey basters.

  2. Squeeze playdough using a citrus squeezer.

  3. As fingers get stronger, squeeze water using pipettes.

  4. Squeeze and release paint on top of pine cones.

  5. Drip watercolors down a vertical surface.

  6. Press Do-a-Dots with palms of hands on a dry erase board.

  7. Set up a tongs and pom poms activity. (B-Inspired Mama)

  8. Squeeze glitter glue to make calming bottles. (Mess for Less)

  9. Use paint with sponges. (No Time for Flash Cards)

  10. Transfer foam blocks in bowls of water. (Mummy Musings and Mayhem)

  11. Squeeze lemons and make lemonade. (Two-daloo)

  12. Use a sponge to clean the table. (An Everyday Story)

  13. Drop watercolors on coffee filters.

  14. Grab some clothespins to make these dinosaurs. (Teaching Mama)

  15. Squeeze play dough. (Fun at Home With Kids)

  16. Using icing gel pens to decorate cookies. (Craftulate)

  17. Invite your child to wash windows. (Montessori Life as We Know It)

 

17 Squeezing Activities for Strengthening Hands



More hand-strengthening ideas for young children:

Looking for a fun way to strengthen toddler fine motor skills? Here's a fun water activity using basters!      Fine Motor with Sunflowers      Fine Motor Threading Activity

 

And here’s more ways to build fine motor skills!

fine motor for preschoolers

Your go-to-guide for everything fine motor related, it’s the perfect resource for parents, teachers, and therapists.

More information: Basics of Fine Motor Skills

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




44 Preschool Learning Activities for the Outdoors

You’ve planned your learning activities for the classroom or homeschool, but it’s just too nice outside to be indoors. What to do? Take learning outdoors! I’ve put together 44 preschool learning activities that are perfect for the outdoors.

Counting.

Measuring.

Letter hunts.

Science with nature.

And more.

Lose the 4 walls and the ceiling and get outdoors with this fun collection!

Outdoor Learning Activities for Kids

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

44 Preschool Learning Activities for the Outdoors

The photo collages beneath each group of activities is shown left to right, starting with the first activity in the group. When you click the title of the activity, you will be taken to the original post with full directions.

 

  • Paint with Bubbles: Whip up a batch of vibrant bubble paint and make prints.
  • Outdoor Canvas Painting: Collect flower petals and add them to a watercolor canvas art activity.
  • Water Spray Alphabet Hunt: Work on letter recognition or letter sounds with water and a spray bottle! (Mom Inspired Life)
  • ABC Excavation Sensory Bin: Fill ice trays with ABC beads and freeze for a fun letter exploration activity. (Parenting Chaos)
  • Garden ABC Hunt: Get outside and enjoy some fresh air while practicing letter recognition. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
  • Alphabet Ice Boats: Match the letters on the boats as the ice starts to melt. (School time Snippets)

preschool learning outdoors

 

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

  • Bubble Play: Make your own bubbles and try some fun activities that little kids love. (Red Ted Art)
  • Floating Flowers: Collect flowers from the garden and add to a tub of water. (Twitchetts)
  • Learn with Leaves: 7 math activities that you can do outside! (Crafts on Sea)
  • Exploring Senses in Nature: Make an easy DIY mystery bag and fill with natural materials for a fun tactile sense activity. (Natural Beach Living)
  • Play with Helicopter Seeds: These are fun to use for large motor activities, nature hunts, fine motor, counting, and in crafts! (Lalymom)
  • Outdoor Play Ideas Jar: Use the free printable for activity ideas, place in a jar, and let the kids pick a fun outdoor idea. (Kitchen Counter Chronicles)

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

  • Cutting Lavender: If you have lavender in your yard, invite your child to snip it for some fine motor fun. (Teach Me Mommy)
  • DIY Dice Game: Work on gross motor development while completing the task that the dice lands on. (Days with Grey)
  • Hammering Ice: Fill ice cube trays with water and small plastic bugs, freeze, and take outdoors to hammer! (Beauty Through Imperfection)
  • Sink or Float Science: Fill a tub with water, collect items, and see if they sink or float. Use the free printable to document results. (Buggy and Buddy)
  • Blow Bubbles with Household Objects: Discover which household objects work best to blow bubbles. (Playground Parkbench)
  • Spread Shaving Cream on Blocks: Help your children develop spreading skills with this fun activity. (Happy Hooligans)

preschool outdoor learning

 

  • Safari Small World: Create a safari small world in the sandbox with loose parts, including  natural materials. (Little Worlds Big Adventures)
  • Nature Number Art: Collect items on a walk, roll the dice, and create something with that many of the pieces. (Mosswood Creations)
  • Sand Cast Starfish: Next time you go to the beach, make this fun keepsake! (Crafts by Amanda)
  • Shadow Art: Add some hands-on STEAM to your outdoor time with this fun art and science activity. (Rhythms of Play)

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

  • Stone Faces Craft: Collect rocks on a nature walk and use the free printable to create funny stone faces. (Messy Little Monster)
  • Earth Craft with Rain: Use markers on paper and see what happens when rain falls on it. (To Be a Kid Again)
  • Jackson Pollock Art: Drip paint on a large sheet outdoors! (Learning and Exploring through Play)
  • Nature Paintbrushes: Collect pieces of nature while on a walk and then use them to paint with. (Messy Little Monster)

 

preschool outdoor learning

Looking for a more structured summer camp program for your kids?

preschool summer camp

Let the kids have the best summer ever! They will be busy learning, making and playing active games. Each day Summer Camp at Home offers 3 different activities.

Click here to read more >>>> Summer Camp at Home

Outdoor Learning Activities for Kids

 

 

More ideas for kids:

summer sensory bin      Fun Summer Activities for Toddlers     Fun Summer Activities for Preschoolers

 

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

 

Learn with Play post footer

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




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.

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. (To see similar yarn-wrapped Christmas activities, scroll down towards the end of this post. You will love them!)

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

More yarn-wrapped Christmas ideas:

Yarn Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornaments (Easy Peasy and Fun)

Yarn Wrapped Reindeer Craft (I Heart Crafty Things)

Yarn Wrapped Pinecone Ornaments (Paper and Glue)

Yarn and Bead Christmas Tree Craft (The Imagination Tree)

Yarn Wrapped Candy Cane Christmas Ornament (Paper and Glue)

Yarn Wrapped Paper Plate Christmas Wreath (The Interested Parent)

 

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




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

 

 


 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds