School is out…. Woo hoo! Summer is such 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 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 with 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
  • Finger painting letter shapes
  • Draw letters/numbers/shapes in the sand at the beach

Hand Strengthening

  • Hide some little treasures in putty for kids to dig out with their fingers
  • Pack a picnic lunch - have your child be in charge of opening and closing tupperware and sealing ziploc baggies
  • Use a squirt bottle to mist the plants
  • Do different types of animal walks (crab walk, bear walk, wheelbarrow walk, etc). If you have multiple children, make it a race!
  • Cooking activities that involve stirring
  • Play with a ball launcher / poppers. Set up a bucket for kids to aim at
  • Fill a squirt gun with watercolor paints and let your kids play artist

Fine Motor Coordination / Precision

  • Put money in a piggy bank to save for a special treat. The smaller the change, the more practice your child gets!
  • 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 build a racetrack and have races with wind up toys
  • Play dress up. Use clothing with as many different types of fasteners as possible

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 hole punch to decorate around the edges of homemade cards
  • 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