5 Fun Ways to Improve Fine Motor Strength

Clothespins: Use clothespins to move game pieces during board games. Try different types of clips too – chip clips, wooden clothespins, plastic clothespins, office clips etc. for more (or less) of a challenge.

Play Scrap Paper Basketball: Cut up small pieces of scrap paper (or better yet, have your child cut them up!), then show your child how to crumple the paper using one hand. This works on strengthening the intrinsic muscles of the hand. See who can score the most points shooting the balled-up pieces into a laundry basket or trashcan.

Spray Bottles:Spray bottles can provide year-round fun. Let your child paint on the driveway with water. Have them draw a picture with markers and spray it with water to make it “melt” into the sink. In the winter, mix a few drops of food coloring with water in a spray bottle and let your child paint the snow. In the summer, hang sponges as targets outside and use spray bottles to aim and shoot at the targets. Use food coloring to make different colors and have a competition to see who hits the sponges with greatest accuracy.

Turkey Baster:Have a turkey baster race. You’ll need a turkey baster and some cotton balls or pompoms. Have your child lay on their belly on the floor and army crawl as they use two hands to squeeze the bulb of the baster to blow on the cotton ball and push it across the floor. Use a stopwatch to see who can get to the finish line first, or use two basters and go head-to-head. You can even set up obstacles, like toilet paper tubes to go through or pillows to go around for more of a challenge.

Play-doh and Clay: Make creations out of clay or play doh. There is even a clay-like material available from craft stores that can be used as an eraser after it is baked in the oven.

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