Easy Fine Motor Activities
Here are a couple of easy Christmas and Hanukkah themed fine motor activities for young children. The wrapping activity is a nice alternative to threading and also gives them good practice coordinating and rotating their hands and wrists. Children can also make geometric shapes in the process of wrapping the shapes, which can also be used as decoration during the holiday season.
The trees, stars or other objects you create for wrapping can also later have holes punched in them, and be used for stringing. This is a slightly more difficult activity than wrapping the trees with string. If children find this too hard, you can make it easier for them by doing one or more of the following – use larger string/ribbon/wire, make the holes larger and/or use more rigid string/ribbon/wire. As children’s motor skills develop you can make it harder in order to continue to challenge them.
What you need
- Old cardboard/box
- String or ribbon
We used some old cardboard to cut out tree and star shapes. We painted the more ‘beat up’ looking cardboard shapes so that we could use them as decorations. The other ones we left plain to play around with them and practice wrapping and weaving them.
In order to make it easier to wrap the string around the object, either tape or tie the end of the string to the back of the tree, star or other decorative object. Then children can spin the string around to wrap it and decorate it.
After we had some good practice wrapping them we used a hole punch to make holes for stringing some of them. We put them up around the house as decoration for Christmas and Hanukkah.
Questions to ask
- What shapes can you see? How do you know it is a ….?
- (As you wrap it) Has anything changed? What do you notice?
What they get from easy fine motor activities
These activities will help develop dexterity and wrist rotation, helping prepare children for writing. This is particularly good for extension, flexion and rotation. Threading is also excellent for helping children to develop hand-eye coordination, dexterity, pincer grasp, strength and control (Featherstone, 2013). Children can also make and change shapes through the process of wrapping and stringing. This can allow them to explore the properties of shapes.
Take it further
See my post on Christmas Fine Motor Activities for Children. There are a number of additional easy fine motor skills activities (with a Christmas theme).
Featherstone, S. (2013). The Little Book of Fine Motor Skills: Little Books with Big Ideas. Bloombsbury.