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There are tons of fine motor activity ideas out there for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. But if you have an older child who may not be interested in those “baby activities” you may be scratching your head about what to do. So I've come up with some age-appropriate fine motor activity ideas for older kids, particularly those who are 6 and up.
Fine motor skills are important for future school activities and handwriting, which is why you find so many activities for younger ones. Children under the age of 6 are building all those skills needed for participation in the school environment and self-help skills such as dressing, eating, and bathing.
But older children need to keep these skills up in order to continue to be successful. They may not be interested in putting circle cereal on tooth-picks anymore pouring and transferring objects with bubble tongs anymore. But there are lots of ways for them to get fine motor practice in, in an age appropriate way.
Fine Motor Development for Ages 6+
This is what your child's gross motor and fine motor development looks like at age 6 or above.
- Fully developed eye-hand coordination
- Use all eating utensils appropriately
- Help with household chores (sweeping, moping, dusting etc)
- Able to take care of pets (feeding, grooming, walking etc)
- Draw detailed and complex shapes or pictures
- Begin to develop writing and handwriting habits and skills
- Participate in sports activities
- Have hobbies they enjoy and complete independently
- Learn a musical instrument
- Begin computer skills and use video games
- Are able to draw with greater control and precision
- Can ride a two-wheeled bike
- Learn swimming skills
- Move in time to the beat or rhythm of music
- Able to twist and spin in one place
- Are able to combine motor skills such as running and kicking or moves to music
Keep scrolling for a printable version of this list.
Fine Motor Activities for Older Kids
Fine motor activities involve bilateral coordination, crossing midline, gross motor skills, and focusing on activities that use the smaller muscles of the hand. Posture and core stability are also important for successful fine motor skills, so many of these activities will involve gross motor and fine motor movements.
- Art classes
- Roller blading or roller skating
- Team sports (such as baseball, football, soccer, hockey, volley ball etc)
- Horse back riding (especially grooming and pre-riding care)
- Taking care of a pet (dog, cat, bird etc)
- Origami (paper folding art)
- Cooking and baking
- Music lessons (particularly piano, string, or woodwind instruments)
- Jewelry making
- Coloring books (those with more detailed designs)
- Puzzles (those with 50+ pieces or more detailed pictures)
- Playing croquet
- Wood working
- Computer coding or building computers
- Mechanical work
- Board games
- Playing capture the flag
Printable List of Fine Motor Activities for Older Kids
If you would like a printable option of this developmental checklist and 25 fine motor activity ideas, simply subscribe to my blog by putting your e-mail address in the box below.
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Jaime Spencer says
These are such great ideas for older kids! I think a lot of times parents struggle to find something that their older child will be interested in. I will definitely be using this printable for my middle school students. Thank you so much!
Janice Tatangelo says
Great suggestions. My 13 year old Grandson has been diagnosed with Autism & Aspergers. His parents were also told that he needs activities to improve his fine motor skills. I’m hoping I can find appropriate age options for a 13 year old in your list of suggestions. Thanks so much for your help and expertise.