Fine motor skill is the coordination of small muscle movements which occur in body parts such as the fingers, usually in coordination with the eyes. In relation to motor skills of hands and fingers, the term dexterity is commonly used. When applied to the theory of human aptitude, this is called "manual dexterity". The high level of manual dexterity that humans exhibit can be attributed to the manner in which manual tasks are controlled by the nervous system.
Making fine motor skill activities fun is very important to keep your little one interested and involved. Here are my daughters personal top ten:
1. Threading beads onto pipe cleaners
2. Making pasta necklaces - don't forget to paint the pasta first for an added fine motor activity!
3. Building a castle with duplo (or lego if old enough and not likely to mouth the small pieces)
4. lacing pipe cleaners through a colander - A good activity for when you are cooking dinner so they are still being supervised by you but sitting safely out of the way completing their activity.
5. Finger painting (you are never too old to finger paint!)
6. Alphabet modeling out of play dough (forming each letter of the alphabet one by one out of play dough - can also extend the activity to make names and words) If your little one is like mine and will eat the play dough make sure you purchase a non toxic version or better yet, make your own.
7. Stacking cups upside down to make a tower (can use the game jenga too but don't have high hopes as this is very tricky for sensory kiddos - who am I kidding, its tricky for me too!)
8. Painting with water - on the concrete outside down on all fours with a paintbrush and container of water to dip in - this also helps with core strength which in turn can help strengthen crossing the midline.
9. Painting with ear buds (Q-tips) my 3 year old son also loves to do this one.
AND last but not least, my daughters favorite.......
10. Painting nails!! What little girl wouldn't love to do this! (and boy for that matter!) excellent way to practice crossing their midline while exercising a very precise fine motor skill activity. Let them choose their colour and compliment the great job they are doing throughout the process. You could even let them do your nails!
My daughter is 7 years old so these are good activities for her age group and her low level of fine motor ability. They can be done by preschool age an above! As she progresses and grows up we will extend her activities to things such as sewing and baking.