I love some fine motor fun. The bonus is that when you are engaging in fine motor activities, you are not only building their fine motor development, but often extending their cognitive processes and skills such as problem solving, curiosity, experimentation and more.
For those teachers in Early Childhood, who want to be able to link this back to the Early Years Learning Framework, it is all under Outcome 4 [wink, wink].
1. Number Pop-Its + Pom Poms. All the fun with this one! This one really promotes hands-on experiences which allow children in this case explore mathematical concepts in a visual manner, because we all know that abstract thinking doesn’t start for most kids until 7 years and beyond. It allows them to use the tweezers to grab the pom poms to solve the problems for those bigger kids. And for our younger ones, they might be filling the numbers with the correct number of pom poms.
2. Letter Boards + Loose Parts or Playdough. Assist younger children to start building their awareness of how letters are formed by providing them with the opportunity to use a range of different loose parts to create different letters. As they get older you might provide them with whiteboard markers that they can use to trace over the laminated letter and begin to refine those fine motor skills even further.
3. Washi Tape + Loose Parts. Grab some washi tape (we love the bright colours) and create shapes or letters or numbers and then add some loose parts that can be used and placed along the tape. You can even encourage the kids to colour match while they are building their fine motor skills (in particular their pincer grip).
4. Scissors + Playdough. Who doesn’t love rolling out some play dough and then snipping it into pieces? No one. You can use it to build on literacy and mathematical concepts.
5. Droppers + Watercolour Paint. Allows for colour mixing which builds on hypothesising and experimenting with their creativity. But also extends on their fine motor skills as they use the droppers to squeeze the paint up and then back out again!