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If you have multiple children in your home, in particular, younger ones under 3, it can be challenging to find something for them to do while the older ones do schoolwork or big kid projects. So today I am sharing 50 fine motor activity ideas for children under 3 years old.
50 Fine Motor Activity Ideas for Ages 0-3
I love combining many different activities with fine motor; they are so beneficial for the younger ones. All children learn through their 5 senses and by exploring the world around them through hands-on play.
1. Turning pages of a board book
2. Stringing 1/2 inch to 1-inch beads on a thick string
3. Throwing or catching softballs
4. Hand clapping games
5. Building with Duplos® or Legos®
6. Squeezing bottles such as a ketchup bottle with both hands
7. Rolling dough (Bread, play dough) with a rolling pin
8. Pressing cookie cutters into dough
9. Drawing a picture with a simple stencil
10. Put rings on a peg on a board
11. Using play dough scissors to make snips in the dough
12. Simulate cutting by transferring objects with bubble tongs
13. Cut straws into small pieces for a necklace
14. Cut out foam shapes
15. Complete simple 2-4 turn mazes (holding paper with opposite hand)
16. Complete simple connect the dots (holding paper with opposite hand)
17. Fold paper in half
18. Squeezing a spray bottle to water plants, clean windows etc
19. Use play dough scissors to cut modeling clay
20. Lacing cards
21. Use tongs to pick up small objects (cotton balls, cereal pieces, rice, beans)
22. Coloring or scribbling with age-appropriate grasp
23. Roll playdough pre-writing shapes (horizontal/vertical lines and circle shapes)
24. Squeeze plastic bottles or turkey baster and transfer water
25. Squeeze putty or play dough
26. Pinch clothespins (laundry or game)
27. Draw shapes or lines in shaving cream or hair gel
28. Draw with an Etch-A-Sketch
29. Trace a simple pattern on paper
30. Use finger paint inside a plastic bag to practice lines and shapes
Fine Motor Control
31. Put together 3-4 piece puzzles
32. Build a block tower (up to 10 high, depending on age)
33. Place pegs on a peg board
34. Put coins into a piggy bank
35. Scoop objects with a small spoon or shovel
36. Push small objects into a container or cup
37. Screwing and unscrewing lids off of containers
38. Counting objects such a buttons, beads, cotton balls
39. Push food squeeze pouch caps into a baby wipes container
40. Pounding golf tees into foam with a hammer
41. Ball pit (use a plastic wading pool with ball pit balls)
42. Water play with buckets, cups, and other pouring items
43. Place strips of fabric in an empty baby wipes box
44. Cooked spaghetti play (use with tongs and other fine motor tools)
45. Cornmeal sensory bin (use with pouring and transferring dishes)
46. Soundbox (include rattles, drums, bells, and other musical instruments to grasp)
47. Make a discovery bottle out of a clean water bottle
48. Make homemade play dough with essential oils (1-2 drops only)
49. Make homemade finger paint with essential oils (1-2 drops only)
50. Texture sticks for counting or patterns
50 Fine Motor Activities for 0-3 Free Printable
All of the activity ideas listed are designed to be complete with adult supervision. Also, you know what your child will be able to handle, so take their fine motor skills and age into consideration. However, I do include activities that can be completed by ages 0-3.
To get your printable copy of the 50 fine motor activities for children under 3 years old, enter your e-mail address below and click the green “DOWNLOAD” button. You will need to check your e-mail to confirm your subscription (double check your spam folder!). Once you confirm using the link provided in your e-mail, the download will automatically be sent to your computer. Double check your “downloads folder” and save it to your computer for future reference.
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For more detailed information on fine motor development, plus even more fine motor activities ideas, check out my book, Basics of Fine Motor Skills.
Mindi Baczuk says
I love your blog! With preschool beginning again next week, I am looking for some new circle time activities to do with my students! Thanks!
Heather Greutman says
Wonderful Mindi! Thanks for commenting and stopping by!
Mary Leung says
Just can’t wait to start the new school year with the help of this handbook, thanks in advance !
Hi thankyou for all your printable and ideas i was searching on homeschool organising as im in Australia and going to home school my youngest child due to medical reasons so thankyou for sharing so many free printables