Activities that Your Child Can Play to Enhance Fine Motor Skills

In our previous blog titled "Understanding the Two Types of Motor Skills", we learned that fine motor refers to the skills involved in the ability to handle and control small objects and perform various movements and activities using the small muscles in our hands, wrists, fingers, and toes. These skills are not only necessary for writing but also crucial for many aspects of self-care as children. After all, we want them to do things on their own and do them really well.

Activities that are considered self-care to include:

  • eating with a fork or spoon
  • tying shoelaces
  • buttoning and unbuttoning clothes
  • brushing teeth 
  • setting tables
  • using the toilet
  • bathing
  • combing hair

Why enhance fine motor skills?

Fine motor development is a crucial part of every child's well-being. It provides children with the strength required to manipulate mark-making equipment, and excel in drawing, especially in writing because writing progress depends largely on how developed the muscles in the hand, wrists and fingers are.

Here are some activities that your child can play to enhance fine motor skills:

Clean Mess is simply cleaning the mess that you purposely created. It is literally a 'pan and broom' activity where your child uses a brush as a broom and a spoon as a dustpan.

Things you need: a big plastic spoon, paintbrush, pompoms or crumpled small pieces of paper, a bowl or a box

How to do this activity?

  1. Scatter the pompoms or crumpled pieces of paper on the table or floor.
  2. Simulating the act of sweeping, hold the spoon in one hand and brush on the other.
  3. Brush the pompoms into the spoon and transfer them to a bowl or box.
  4. Repeat the process until there is no more mess to clean.


  • Make this a timer game. Time each attempt to clean the mess. Record to break the previous record. It will be fun.
  • Play this activity with another participant or two. Whoever cleans more mess, by counting the number of pompoms in the bowl or box, will emerge as the winner.

These Many, Please

This activity is like selling and buying, only that there is no money involved.

Things you need: marbles, pebbles, or pompoms; paper or plastic cups; pen or marker

How to play this game?

  1. Mark each cup with a number. One cup may have 5 written on it while another has 10. Vary this figure depending on the total number of pompoms or marbles or pebbles you have.
  2. Match each numbered cup with the correct quantity it requires.


  • If you choose pompoms for this activity, you can use tongs to transfer the required number of pompoms to the cups. This way, the grip between the thumb and the rest of the fingers gets exercised.
  • A fun competition can be introduced while playing this game as well. Who accomplishes the task quicker gets to receive a reward of your choosing.

Clay Kneading

As the name suggests, this activity requires a child to knead a lump of clay.

What you need: clay of different colours, plates, beads or small buttons

How to do this activity?

  • Provide a lump of clay to the child.
  • Ask them to knead it and make it as thin as possible. Tell them to use their knuckles to flatten the clay dough.
  • Once flattened, have them place each bead or button onto the clay in a clockwise manner.
  • Encourage them to arrange these beads or buttons as neatly as possible.

Porcu-Pin It

I know you are familiar with a large rodent with coats of sharp spines, or quills named porcupines. Considering what these magnificent creatures look like, Porcu-Pin It is an activity that copies this look.

Things you need: toothpicks, styrofoam

How is it played?

  • Shape the styrofoam into any animal shape you like.
  • Pin the toothpicks to it one at a time, as close to each other as possible.

Scoop 'em Like a Pro

This game is an activity that involves both hands. It is basically scooping a number of small objects and keeping them inside a jar or box. It enhances hand-eye coordination as well since the child needs to focus their attention on the mouth of the jar to successfully drop the objects inside.

For this, you need small objects like plastic pebbles or beads and a jar.

How to play this game?

  • Spread the small objects on the table or floor.
  • Keep the jar next to the child.
  • Then ask the child to scoop these objects using their hands. Encourage to use both hands together.
  • Transfer these objects into the jar.

Free the Animals

This game is my favourite as it teaches children an extremely important concept-- freedom --or the idea that no animal should be held captive and deprived of its freedom.

Things you need: assorted animal toys in all shapes and sizes; scotch tape/brown tape; baskets or boxes to keep the freed animals

How to do this activity?

  • Explain to them the idea that no animal should be trapped or harmed in any way by anyone. If they are, we, as human beings, who have the power to do something about it, must do our best to free them.
  • Begin with taping toy animals in different but conspicuous corners of your house.
  • Then ask your child to find all of them.
  • When they find one, they must untaped the animal and place them inside the basket.
  • Once this is done, they proceed to find the rest of the animals and free them.
  • End the game by asking whether every animal has been rescued and freed. Also, let them share their feelings about being involved in the activity.

There are plenty of activities that your child can play to enhance fine motor skills. These are just a few that we know your child will surely enjoy.

Stay tuned in for more blog posts in the future. In the meantime, check out our collection of toys that enhance fine motor skills.

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