I am a strong advocate for kids participating in activities other than cutting and writing in school. I think far too many kids spend their time on tablets and then enter school forced to write and cut but don’t have the necessary hand skills to do so. So they end up HATING writing and cutting. BUT if simple fine motor activity that did not involve writing and cutting was a part of their day so they could develop this skills we could avoid this very large issue. Unfortunately, the rigors of school make it SO hard for teachers to do anything other than test and screen kids and teach the core curriculum.
I am lucky enough to work at a school where the teachers agree that this is a need area so with my help their students get some time doing simple fine motor activity on most days. To further assist the teachers I go into a classroom that has quite a few students who have not developed the necessary hand strength and coordination to hold and control a pencil. Every week I do a small table group in this Kindergarten classroom that takes 5-10 minutes.
This week I was ill prepared so I took to Pinterest to find a simple fine motor activity to do with these students. I found my inspiration, packed up my supplies and headed off.
I called the 2 students I needed to work with over to the table and explained that they could take any of the stickers and put them on the tree on the black line to create lights or garland. They got right to work. And before I knew it I had other students coming up and asking if they could do it too. They were all SO excited about this activity!
The students who started right away finished their trees no problem and laughed and giggled as they picked their stickers out. Those little hands would have worked to get those stickers off the sheet and stick them to the tree forever if I had let them. They were bummed when it was time to clean up and get ready to go home but asked if I could leave their trees so they could finish tomorrow. I left them on their tables to finish later.
It was great to see 10 kids gathered around my little table excited to be using their hands to do something other than swipe to the next page. It was an errorless activity that allowed them to have fun and build their hand strength and hand-eye coordination at the same time. I learned to never discount the fun that a simple fine motor activity can bring into a classroom.
I am always looking for new ideas. What’s your favorite simple fine motor activity??