I know I can’t be the only one, but I have seen a decline of the fine motor skills in entering kindergarteners. A majority of this, in my opinion, is because screens are the more chosen option for play. As a kindergarten teacher, this means that I have some making up to do. Children need fine motor strength for so many skills in their lives, the development is necessary. I use fine motor skill activities in ways that help my students strengthen these important developmental skills while simultaneously working on other kindergarten standard skills.
Fine Motor Skill Activities
My realization came one back to school season when there were more children than not in my class that did not have the fine motor skills that I was used to. There are some students that come to kindergarten never having held a crayon, let alone scissors. I know that screens are more prevalent and a quick choice, but not always the best choice. Just think, when you go to a restaurant, it used to be that all kids would get an activity page and crayons. Now, instead, there are screens that can be rented to play games. While this helps keep children occupied in the ‘boring’ moments of life, it is a missed opportunity to strengthen a necessary developmental skill.
I try to present activities to my students that combine multiple skills. Why not work towards multiple, whenever possible? I use the same concept with fine motor activities as I do with my sensory station. Incorporate fine motor skills strengthening while working on letter ID or counting. There are many ways to combine academic learning with fine motor skills to make learning fun, exciting, and intentional.
Quick Tip: Kindergarteners love to cut, paste, clip, staple, color, draw and use any new tool. While it’s beneficial that you can use that curiosity and inquisitiveness to reinforce the academic skills you are teaching, making sure students know how to properly use school supplies is important, too.
PLAY-DOH Fine Motor Activities
Play-Doh Mats are an excellent idea for fine motor strengthening while incorporating an additional skill. Students can use their hands to smash, pound, manipulate, and roll play-doh into letters for letter recognition, name practice or even sight words.
Find more Play-Doh ideas and an inexpensive recipe here.
Punch Card Fine Motor Activities
Most kindergarteners have never seen, much less, used a hole punch. This unique and novel tool becomes an excellent gadget for little hands to use while learning. I found these easy to use hole punches on Amazon. Students love to use them!!!
Click above picture to link to Amazon.
Students can use this exciting tool to punch the letter, number, or sight word that is on their card, thus reinforcing the lesson and standard you are teaching in a fun yet purposeful way.
Clothespin Clips Fine Motor Activity
Another fun activity for little hands is CLIP CARDS. Using clothespin clips is fun, engaging, and meaningful in the classroom. Using ALPHABET CLIP CARDS increases fine motor skills while learning beginning letters, sounds, and phonics. This product is yet another way to incorporated fine motor skill strengthening while teaching and reinforcing academics.
Scissors, liquid glue, and glue sticks are also utilized in the classroom to encourage fine motor skills, learning new techniques, as well as keeping academics from becoming boring and rote. All kindergarten teachers look for new and exciting printables to use in their classrooms. Here a few that I have created to be both purposeful and fun while teaching and honing the skills and standards we teach.
MORE TOOLS FOR FINE MOTOR SKILLS
Click on above picture to go to TEST TUBE MATH and **FREEBIE**.