10 Common Objects to Help Your Child with Fine Motor Skills

Children develop fine motor skills at various rates. However, if your child is struggling with fine motor skills, they could have difficulties using their fingertips to move objects, grasping pencils or utensils and using scissors and other tools. Tying shoelaces could be a problem as well.

If you want to help your child develop their fine motor skills, try incorporating these fun objects, which are often recommended by pediatric occupational therapists.

1. Sponges

A clean, new sponge, two bowls and some water are all you need for a fun fine motor skill-building activity. Fill one bowl up with water and keep one empty. Then, have your child soak the sponge in the bowl with water and squeeze the sponge out into the empty bowl. This helps strengthen their forearms and hands.

2. Play-Dough

Play-dough is a great tactile material your child can use to build fine motor skills. You can even involve your child in making their own play-dough to make it more interesting.

3. Coloring, Drawing and Painting

Have your child paint and draw. It's not only imaginative and creative, but it helps them build their fine motor skills. You can have them use various mediums like:

  • Chalk
  • Crayons
  • Charcoal
  • Brush painting

These all will strengthen their hand-eye coordination and spark some interest in the task.

4. Buttons

When your child picks buttons up, it helps work their small muscles. However, having them actually button something up will really work their fine motor skills since it takes some serious hand-eye coordination and finger strength.

5. Clothespins

These are the perfect objects to help build finger strength. 

6. Origami

Origami is a fun family craft that involves folding paper into artwork. It really helps build their fine motor skills and you can switch it up a bit by using:

  • Wrapping paper
  • Construction paper
  • Other decorative paper

7. Pasta

Have your child string pasta, like rigatoni noodles, on a piece of yarn or shoelace, using tape to wrap the end. Make different colors using dye.

8. Shaving Cream

Spray a small dollop of shaving cream on a table or the countertop and have your child play around with it, smearing it into a thin layer. Then they can use their index finger to practice making shapes, drawing people or writing out letters or their names.

9. Q-Tips

Use Q-tips for erasing from a white or chalkboard, dotting or painting. Q-tips activities challenge grasp maturity and fine motor precision.

10. Legos

Legos are ideal for precision, coordination, strength and visual attention.

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