Fine Motor Skills Fun

Fine motor ideas!

Page updated April 2017

Tip: Have a student palm a pom pom
ball to encourage comfortable pencil grasp.

Use fishing worms to make letters. The formation of letters from tactile materials 
have been proven to help students with dyslexia.

Four minute playdough recipe (easy!)

Edible Peeps playdough recipe!

Slime Recipe Without Borax:
For the simplest of all slime recipes, all you need is cornstarch. Just dump some into a bowl, add some water, and start mixing. Keep adding water until it reaches the consistency you want (a good place to start is 2 parts cornstarch to 1 part water). You can also add food coloring.

Candy Cane Writing in Jello Powder (or sand)

 Construction paper-covered tubes and students use finger grasp or tongs to match and count the colored pom-poms to the correct tubes.

This would be easy to put together after a visit to a local hardware store.

Have fun creating new textures by making your own paintbrushes.

Using tongs, find the snakes and frogs and drop them into the ice cube tray compartments.

This will take patience for the child, but is really great because of the weaving.

Have the child practice putting on/taking rubber bands off a soup can or bottle.

Recipes for fun and fine motor skills!

Bathtub Fingerpaints
1/3 c. clear dish soap
1 tbsp. corn starch
Food coloring
Mix & blend. Pour into ice cube tray.

Rainbow Sand
Pour 1 cup of sand and 1 cup table salt into a Ziploc bag. Add 2 tsp. of powdered tempera paint. Shake it about 30 seconds or until it is evenly blended. Store in a Ziploc or airtight container.

Peanut Butter Play Dough
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 ½ cups dry powdered milk
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
Beat all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Place wax paper down on a table and let kids play. Keep it in a Ziploc or airtight container. Discard after 2 weeks.
*Don’t allow kids with peanut allergies to play with this.

Pudding Paints
Assorted snack size puddings or yogurt
Wax paper
Put wax paper on the surface where messes are okay. Dampen the table first before you put the wax paper down so it will keep the wax paper from sliding. Open up several different flavors of pudding/yogurt. Give your child wooden/plastic spoons, cookie cutters, basting brushes or anything they can “paint” with.
*Don’t allow kids with milk allergies to paint with the puddings/yogurt.

Super Sidewalk Paint
¼ cup of corn starch
¼ cup of cold water
6-8 drops of food coloring
Have fun outside!

Heavy cardboard tube
2 plastic caps
Duct tap
Seeds or pebbles or rice or beans
Wrapping or contact paper
You can decorate the tube with wrapping/contact paper or have your child paint it or draw on it. Hammer nails 1/8 inch apart around the cardboard tube using the spiral seam as your guide. Add the bottom cap. Tape it or hot glue it good. Help your child add the seeds/pebbles/rice/beans. I usually fill it half way. Now secure your top cap. You can add ribbons to the caps or around the tube.

Magic Mud
¾ cup of corn starch
1/3 cup of water
5-7 drops of food coloring
Mix water & food coloring. Slowly add corn starch to the mix. Do not stir but let the mix stand for 2-3 minutes. You can add some glitter. This is good to show children how a liquid can turn into a solid.

Funny Fossils
2 cups of quick setting Plaster of Paris
1 cup water
Fill pan with sand. Sprinkle sand lightly with water until it is moist enough to make an impression in. Take a toy or shell, or hand and make an impression in the sand. Mix water and plaster. Pour it and let it dry for about 35-45 minutes or until it is hardened. Remove the plaster from the sand. Voila!

Glitter Goop
½ cup glue
2 cups of rock salt
6-8 drops of food coloring
Mix the rock salt & food coloring. Add glue and continue mixing for about 2-3 minutes. Place sculptures on cardboard or wax paper to dry.

Smells Good Watercolor Paint
Mix 1 teaspoon of Kool Aid or Jello mix with 1 tablespoon of warm water.

Crazy Putty
1 tbsp. liquid starch
2-3 drops food coloring
2 tbsp. glue
Plastic Easter egg
Mix the glue and food coloring together in a small bowl. Pour liquid starch alone into a second bowl. Slowly pour the glue mixture on top of the liquid starch. Let it stand about 5 minutes or until the glue absorbs into the starch. Knead the mixture. Keep kneading even if mixture appears funky until it resembles putty.

Calm Down Bottle
Fill an empty water bottle ¾ with corn syrup or cooking oil. Add food coloring. Add metallic confetti or glitter. Add water and seal the bottle tightly.

Slimy Slime
In one bowl mix-
1 cup water
1 cup glue
7-10 drops of food color
In another bowl mix-
4 teaspoons of Borax laundry booster
1 1/3 cup of warm water
Make sure the Borax is dissolved. Slowly pour the first bowl into the second one. Do not mix. Roll bowl 1 into bowl 2 about 5 times and then lift the solid slime out. Knead it for 2-3 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

V is for Volcano
2 small paper cups
¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup vinegar
4-6 drops of food coloring
Fill the bottom of one cup with baking soda and set it on a plate or in the sink. Put food coloring drops on top of the baking soda. Poke a hole in the bottom of the second cup. Place it upside down on top of the first cup. Slowly pour vinegar into the hole until it erupts. Easy volcano!

Bath Time Crayons
1 cup grated Ivory Soap
¼ cup warm water
4-6 cups food color
Plastic cookie cutters
Mix all ingredients. Stir until mixture stiffens. Knead it to make it dough-like. Spoon it into cookie cutters. Freeze it for 10-15 minutes. Let crayons dry overnight.

Wonderful Watercolors
5-7 drops food color
2 tbsp. water
Mix and enjoy!

Coffee Dough
¼ cup instant coffee
¾ cup warm water
2 cups flour
½ cup salt
Mix water and coffee together until the coffee dissolves. Combine flour and salt. Add the warm water and stir until smooth. Bake it in the oven at 300 for 30-45 minutes until it hardens. Store in an airtight container.

Egg Marble-lous!
1 tbsp. food color
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. cooking oil
Hard-boiled eggs
Dip the hard-boiled eggs in your mixture. You could also draw on the egg shells beforehand using a white crayon. The dye will not stick to the white crayon so you have a cool design!

Paper Clay
2 cups of construction paper scraps, sorted by color
4 ½ cups of water
½ cups of flour
Have your kid tear the construction paper into small pieces. Pour the 4 cups of water and paper scraps into a blender. Blend it for about 20 seconds or until it gets pulpy. Drain and squeeze the watery part of the mixture. Mix flour and the ½ cup of water into the bowl until blended. Then slowly add the mixture to the pulp mixture. Knead it until it makes dough. If you want to keep any creations made with the dough then let it air dry for 1-2 days.

Clown Face Paint
2 tbsp. solid shortening
1 tbsp. corn starch
4-5 drops food coloring
Small make-up sponges
Mix! You can add 1 tsp. of glitter if you want princess make-up.

Cotton Clay
3 cups of cotton balls
2 cups of water
2/3 cup of flour
5-7 drops of food coloring
Tear the cotton balls up. Mix the water and cotton in a medium saucepan. Turn on low heat. Slowly stir in flour for about 5-7 minutes until concoction stiffens. Remove it from heat. Cool it on a towel or several layers of paper towels. If you want to keep any sculptures you create, let them air dry for 24 hours.

 Plastic-Like Play Dough
½ cup flour
¼ cup glue
½ cup corn starch
¼ cup water
4-6 drops of food color
Mix the glue, water and food coloring until it is well blended together. Combine flour and corn starch in a separate bowl. Add it all together and mix until it makes a stiff dough. Knead it on a floured surface for about 2-3 minutes. Use the dough on wax paper to play with. It dries to a plastic like consistency.

Creepy Crawlies
1 envelope of unflavored gelatin
2 tbsp. glue
2 tbsp. hot water
½ tbsp. liquid tempera paint
Candy molds or cookie cutters
Mix the paint and glue in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the gelatin and hot water until the gelatin dissolves. Add the mixtures together. Stir it until it thickensabout 6-7 minutes. Pour it into a mold or cookie cutter.

Freeze it about 5 minutes until it is firm. Remove it from the mold. Have the rubber-like creations dry an hour on each side. Store mix in Ziploc.

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