Sometimes these activities can be frustrating for kids as they start out because they aren't successful at the task immediately. Here are some of our favorite activities and toys that promote fine motor skills while also have a lot of fun!
1. Pop Beads
One of my favorite brands, B. Toys, has two toys that are just perfect for this. For younger kids, 10m-3y, they have Snug Bugs, which are larger, softish toys that you can "pop" together and take apart. For younger kids, I think these would also be a nice teething toy (although that's not what it's intended for, of course).
They are perfect for Ada to play with while the older kids play with B. Pop-Arty, a huge bucket of small pop beads that can be made into great jewelry!
The colors are so fun and the beads are a teeny challenging to pop together, but not too challenging to cause frustration for Aly and Asante.
While Asante thought it was a little girly, he did make a "man bracelet".
Aly is starting a trend - foot bracelets:
As always, I'm so impressed by the products B. Toys puts out. I love the thought and design they put behind their products. Also, in case you are unfamiliar with their products, they are also an environmentally friendly company that gives back to the community.
2. Marshmallow Building
Using toothpicks and marshmallows, kids can build all kinds of fun structures! You can be sure that if marshmallows are involved, my kids will give it a chance. Asante liked actually building something a lot more than the other two, but Ada found her own unique way to practice fine motor skills. I was busy helping the other kids while she quickly used her toothpick to poke and eat each marshmallow!
3. Pipecleaner Hats
I gave the kids a strainer, a pack of pipecleaners, a few feathers and said- "Create!" They came up with this:
I also saw this variation of pipe cleaner fun over at Happy Little Munchkins- Pipe Cleaner Sewing.
4. Button Snakes
I made these in our travel busy bag swap a couple months ago, and it has been something to do while we are in the car. Buttons have been challenging for us, but practice makes perfect, right?
Aren't these colors great? We used a variety of noodles and the kids enjoy making necklaces and whatever else for the rest of the family. To dye the noodles, just put a bunch of noodles in a ziploc bag, pour in a couple tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and lots of drops of food coloring until you arrive at the shade you want! After shaking it all up, I put the noodles on wax-paper covered cookie sheets and let it dry in the sun for an hour or two.
6. Eating Pomegranates
Those seeds can be tricky for little hands, but the tart tastyness is worth it. They think they're just eating while we know they are building fine motor skills. :)
There are so many ways to spice a ball of playdoh up. Here are some of my favorite playdoh activities:
8. Tearing Paper and making something out of it
Anything really. A tree. Some clouds. A face. Just a collage of stuff. Whatever. Tearing helps build the finger muscles, so just make sure the child does the tearing.
9. Building with Blocks
...or legos or whatever. Building with these materials require precision, steadyness of the hand, and manipulating the object with their fingers.
10. Helping Hang Diapers
We cloth diaper around here, and it seems like we're always doing diaper loads. So, when they come out of the wash, we sometimes have the kids help hang the diaper covers on the drying rack with clothespins. Now that it's summer weather, we also have the kids come out, stand on a stool, and help us undo the laundry from the lines outside, which they think is just too fun.
What are some ways that your kids like to practice their patience-building, fine motor skills?