YES, helping your child develop his/her fine motor skills can be fun!! Avoid the temptation to succumb to the lure of brightly colored, cute picture worksheets.
Especially when it comes to fine motor development, pushing a child too early to complete paper/pencil tasks is not better. Parents can help provide a strong foundation for later writing by having lots of fine motor fun now.
Quick, easy ideas that use household items:
- Cut a small hole in the lid of an empty coffee can or oatmeal container. Decorate the container to be a monster or an animal. Cut yarn or straws into small pieces and then “feed” the monster/animal. OR cut a slit in an old tennis ball, squeeze it open and “feed” it.
- Using tongs, move small items such as cotton balls, tissue, pom-poms, noodles from one container to another. OR by looking at the group of items, estimate how many each bowl will have if you share them. Place one at a time in a set amount of bowls and count how many are in each bowl.
- Build a tower with cardboard toilet paper tubes, a hole punch, and straws or pipe cleaners. Make holes in the toilet paper tube and connect them with the straw.
5. Weave ribbon in and out of an old bike wheel, old tennis racquet, etc.
- Match nuts and bolts and screw them together.
6. Cut letters and numbers from empty food containers. Sort them in lots of different ways. (Learning at Home: Sorting Letters and Numbers Free Download at journeyintoearlychildhood.com)
To read more about why worksheets are not the best learning tool for young learners, read my blog posts: