Center Time for Fun Fine Motor Skill Development

preschooler-with-pencilDeveloping children’s fine motor skills may sound boring, but they are the foundation of handwriting. Having proper pencil grasp and control of a writing instrument hinges on them!

Weave the following activities into Center Time as part of other, more exciting fun. My students love them!

Nuts and Bolts for Dramatic Play Center
With hard hats and orange vests on, your students will feel like little engineers and construction workers as they sort and connect the nuts and bolts. The action of twisting the the nuts on and off the bolts helps strengthen the muscles in their hands.spaghetti-for-preschool

Spaghetti Strainer and Pipe Cleaner for Dramatic Play Center
With an apron and chef’s hat on, your students will feel like chefs at this fun play center. With pipe cleaners for spaghetti, the students thread the spaghetti into the holes of the strainer … and then have to get it back out. Perfect for developing grasping!

Clothespins on a Box for Literacy or Math Center
Putting dots on clothespins and corresponding boxes, you can help children develop grasping skills as they match dots, squeeze clothespins and place them on the sides of the boxes. (Put dots on pins and numerals on boxes, or vice-versa.) You can do the same thing with upper- and lower-case letters of the alphabet, or with pictures that correspond to beginning sounds, or colors and shapes. As you can see, you can easily adapt this activity for differentiated instruction too!!!

suction-and-waterWater Drops with Suction Cups for Sand Table
Using small plastic dishes of colored water, an eye dropper and suction-cup bathtub shapes (see picture), kids can manipulate the dropper to squeeze water into the suction cups of the bathtub shapes.

Making Mummies for Block Center
This is one of my kids’ favorites! Using small strips of fabric or yarn, they wrap small people or animals up. Then they build pyramids with the blocks for their mummies to live in. 🙂

Poke-a-Paper for Literacy or Math Center
Here, the kids “trace” numbers, letters, shapes or their names with a jumbo push pin. Using an old piece of carpet under the paper helps keep your tables in good shape.

I’d love to hear some of your ideas. Please share!!!

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