Home-Based Exercises to Improve Fine Motor Skills

If your child is in pediatric occupational therapy, their pediatric therapist will tell you how important fine motor skill development is.  Whether it's using school supplies, zipping up a backpack, or writing, efficient fine motor skills are needed. 

These days, you may want to have your child exercise their fine motor skills now more than ever at home, especially if they're spending the majority of their day on Zoom. Below are some home-based exercises you can try to help improve your child's fine motor skills.

1. Using their fingertips only, have them roll play dough into tiny pea-sized balls.

2. Have your child tear newspaper up into strips and then start crumbling them into balls. They can then use these little paper balls as stuffing for puppets, scarecrows, or other art projects.

3. Let your child sort small objects such as:

  • Dried beans
  • Buttons
  • Beads

Simple to set up, have your child choose items that can be sorted by size, color, or shape and place them in a bowl. give them smaller bowls or a tray to sort them into.

4. Ask your child to use large tweezers to pick up objects like small cubes, Cheerios, pennies, or small marshmallows.

5. Tell your child to match bolts and nuts. Grab some different sized nuts and bolts from your garage or shed. Place the bolts in one bowl and the nuts in another and have your child look through them and find the matching set. 

6. Let your child play "puppet fingers" games using their index, thumb, and middle fingers. 

7. Have your child play sewing and lacing activities like stringing beads, macaroni, or Cheerios. 

You can ask your child’s teacher or pediatric occupational therapist for more activity ideas to help build fine motor skills.

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