Play: Fine Motor “Patience-Building” Activities
Building fine motor skills require much patience and perseverance. The payoffs are totally worth it. Fine motor activities help preschool kids develop the muscles in their hands that they will need for a wide variety of activities- writing, cutting, puzzling, lacing, tying, etc. I was talking to an occupational therapist, and she was discussing how important it was for parents to encourage kids to develop in this area. She sees many kids who are behind in these areas and it doesn’t have to be this way!
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: