Fine motor skills, which involve using the small muscles in the fingers and hands to perform such tasks as grasping small objects and fastening clothing, are an area that we focus on a lot in early childhood development.
These skills are vital as children begin to write and become more independent with their self care (dressing, feeding, brushing teeth).
Today, we came up with this simple and engaging idea.
What we used:
- Pipe cleaners
- Play dough
- Colored, ring-shaped cereal (such as Froot Loops)
I began by cutting pipe cleaners into 3 inch pieces, and placing several of them into a base of play dough.
I filled a bowl with colored, ring-shaped cereal and set it on the table next to the play dough and pipe cleaners.
I helped Zahir (age 4) create a rainbow pattern on one of the pipe cleaners, using the cereal. Then, he continued matching the pattern on the remaining pipe cleaners independently.
As he worked, he was exploring patterns, color identification, counting, addition, and more. He was also practicing those important fine motor skills.
Manipulating the cereal pieces provides a wonderful opportunity to develop the pincer grasp (using the thumb and pointer finger to grasp an object).
Zahir continued to replicate the rainbow pattern on each pipe cleaner until they were all completed.
This simple activity would be a great addition to any springtime thematic unit or rainbow exploration unit in the classroom or at home.
Interested in more fine motor activity ideas? Be sure to check out our Fine Motor Pinterest board.