Simple Preschool Fine Motor Activities

Fine motor activities are part of our everyday life. It is essential for children to develop their fine motor skills to be able to draw, write, lace their shoes, and button their jackets. By definition, fine motor development is referred to as the development of the small muscles in our body; the same muscles that help us move our hands, wrists, fingers, feet and toes. Children also need to develop their gross motor skills.

Guideline for fine motor development between ages 3 to 5:

The three year old is able to:

  • Pour liquids and occasionally spills.
  • Cut with scissors with partial success.
  • Get dressed and undressed with some help.
  • Build basic structures with blocks.
  • Play with large size manipulative (e.g. large beads).
  • Draw shapes that begin to resemble the proper shape.
  • Hold a crayon as an adult would, instead of clenching it with their fist.

The four year old child is able to:

  • Pour liquids into small containers.
  • Cut with scissors with better success.
  • Get dressed and undressed on their own.
  • Build more complex structures with blocks.
  • Play with small size puzzles, playdough and beads.
  • Draw at least a 4 part person (head, body, legs and arms).
  • Draw shapes and objects that can be recognized.

The five year old is able to:

  • Pour without any spills.
  • Cut, hammer, and use a screwdriver.
  • Get dressed and undressed along with buttoning and tying their own shoes.
  • Build thought out 3D structures using blocks and other construction toys.
  • Play with small size puzzle pieces and tiny beads
  • Draw a person and other shapes with ease
  • Write their name and other letters.

Top 10 Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers:

  1. Tearing off paper
  2. Picking up sticks
  3. Playing with play-dough or clay
  4. Cutting
  5. Coloring
  6. Tracing
  7. Gluing
  8. Printing Letters
  9. Using tweezers or thongs to pick up small pieces of paper
  10. Beading 

Support items necessary for Fine Motor Activities:

Tip: My son does not enjoy beading very much but he loves making edible necklaces out of Cheerios...

Looking for more activities? The following is a list of activities children should practice doing on a daily basis:

  • Brushing their teeth
  • Opening milk cartons or juice bottles
  • Pouring liquids
  • Using cutlery when eating
  • Buttoning their pants, shirts and jackets
  • Putting on their shoes and tying their laces
  • Picking up small toys
  • Setting up the table
  • Opening and closing their lunch boxes and it's contents (such as ziploc bags and plastic containers)

You can also check out my section about pre-writing for more fine motor activities.


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