School is out… woo hoo! Summer is a fun time for family bonding, enjoying some fresh air and the great outdoors, and…. fine motor skills?! Since school is out, your children may not be getting therapy for a few months. To help them continue progressing and maintain the skills they gained during the school year, it’s important to incorporate fine motor activities during the summer months. This doesn't have to mean pencil and paper "homework" tasks; there are dozens of ways to make working on fine motor skills fun and kid-friendly!

Below are just a few fun suggestions to get you started with summer time fine motor fun:

Handwriting / Letter Formation

  • Make letters with wikki stix or jumbo pipe cleaners
  • Use a flashlight to write letters on the wall
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk
  • Use your finger to make letters in gel pads
  • Make letters using do-a-dot markers
  • Use playdough, play foam, or putty to make letters, numbers, animals, and shapes
  • Make letters with marshmallows and toothpicks
  • Have your children lay on the floor and make letter shapes with their bodies
  • Use finger paints to practice drawing letter shapes; do it on a vertiical surface to up the therapeutic value
  • Draw letters, number, and shapes in sand at the beach or in your backyard sandbox

Strengthening Finger and Hands

  • Hide tiny treasures like pennies, marbles, or putty charms in putty for kids to dig out with their fingers
  • Pack a picnic lunch and let your child be in charge of opening/closing tupperware, wrapping silverware in folded napkins, sealing ziploc baggies, etc.
  • Use squirt bottles to mist the plants
  • Do different types of animal walks (crab walk, bear walk, wheelbarrow walk, etc).  Having strong gross motor skills promotes having good small motor skills. If you have multiple children, make it a race!
  • Cooking activities that involve stirring, pouring, measuring, sifting, etc. are great for building fine motor skills
  • Play with a ball launcher / poppers. Set up a bucket as a target for kids to aim at
  • Fill a squirt gun with watercolor paints and let your kids play artist

Fine Motor Coordination and Precision

  • Have kids sort or roll change by denominatio and/or put change in a piggy bank. These are fun ways to help build the finger grasps needed to efficiently hold writing and eating utensils
  • Activities with tongs (see this article for specific ideas)
  • String beads to make a bracelet or necklace 
  • Incorporate squeezy finger droppers into water play
  • Have your kids create a racetrack with chalk, string, or cardboard – and have races using hot wheels cars, wind up toys or marbles
  • Play dress up using clothing with different types of fasteners

Cutting Skills

  • Tear up pieces of magazines or junk mail and glue them on construction paper to make a collage
  • Have your child help cut out coupons
  • Set up 2 buckets (one full of water, one empty) and have your child use a sponge and squeeze it out to transfer water between buckets
  • Use a punch to decorate around the edges of homemade cards or to make confetti
  • Do activities with tongs (see this article for specific ideas)
  • Tear paper into strips using the thumb and index finger
  • Practice cutting using a variety of textures and consistencies (regular paper, construction paper, cardstock, envelopes full of junk mail, playdough, cardboard, sand paper, etc.)

Bilateral Coordination


More articles you might enjoy:

10 Fun Toys and Games To Build Fine Motor Skills!

Fun Sensory Recipes & DIY Craft Ideas To Try At Home

Fall-tastic Fine Motor Activities: Bringing Autumn Joy into Your Home

Fun Ways to Boost Your Child's Fine Motor Skills This Summer