Fine Motor Minute to Win It Games for Kids

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Do your kids try to avoid fine motor activities? Why not turn it into a fun minute to win it game to encourage them to participate! Today I've gathered some great fine motor minute to win it games for you to try with your kids.

collage of children playing different fine motor games. Blue overlay box with white text that says Fine Motor Minute to Win it Games for Kids.

These are also perfect to do at home while we are all under “stay home” orders or as you work with your Occupational Therapist through telehealth services or via online and Google Classrooms etc.

I'm including a FREE printable handout of all the activities HERE (or you can scroll down to the bottom of the post to get more details).

Fine Motor Minute To Win It Activities


Items you will need:

  • balls to toss (we used plastic balls)
  • a bucket or tub as a target
  • a container to hold the balls
  • timer

Set your timer for 1 minute, give a count down (3-2-1-GO) and have your child begin tossing their items towards the target. See how many they can get into the target in 1 minute. If you have more than one child they can play against each other, OR you can have each child play multiple times and try to beat their previous record.

Adaptations: If you notice your child is not making too many objects into the target, move them closer to the target. You can gradually move them away from it as they start to make more targets.

The plastic balls we threw were very light. For children who have problems grading their movement, you can use a heavier item to throw like tennis balls or even bean bags.

Also, if your child needs a visual for where to stay while throwing, use a hula hoop and have them stand inside. If you don't have a hula hoop use a towel or other item that they can stand on or next to, to mark the spot.


Items you will need:

  • variety of coins (clean and sanitizer them first)
  • a bowl
  • container with a slit in the top of it (like a piggy bank)
  • timer

How many coins can you drop into the container in one minute?

Set up your coins in a bowl (either one bowl for 2 children or each with their own bowl of coins). Have them pick up one coin at a time during this activity and see how many coins they can push into the container (it needs a slid big enough for coins) in 1 minute.

When the minute is up, dump all the coins out of the container and count how many they pushed in. For older children, have them add the coins by their $$ amount to practice money and math skills.

Adaptations: User quarters only for children who may have problems grasping the smaller coins. For older children, use dimes to help challenge their pincer grasp when picking up the coins.


Items you will need:

  • clips
  • a bowl
  • paint color chips
  • timer

How many clips can they pinch onto a paint chip in 1 minute?

This one is super easy. Just grab some clips and some paint chips. Set your timer for 1 minute and see how many clips they can pinch onto the paint chips. 

Alternative items: any type of clips you have (clothesline clips, chip clips, anything that they can pinch). Instead of paint chips, you can use card stock or index cards. Something a little sturdier than regular paper works better. 

This activity works on pincer grasp or as well as visual-motor skills along with bilateral coordination. 


Items you will need:

  • beads
  • a bowl
  • a container with a small opening at the top
  • timer

How many beads can you push through in one minute?

All you need is a container with a small opening on it and some beads. We used star beads, which are a little easier to grasp.

Set your timer for 1 minute and see how many beads they can put into the container with their fingers. I had the kids pick up one at a time.

Alternatives: You could use an empty water bottle or something similar with a small opening.

For something a little harder, the kids could pick up a handful of beads and then move the beads forward in their hand to put one at a time into the container.

This activity works on pincer grasp, grasp strength, as well as visual motor skills.


Items you will need:

  • tongs
  • cotton balls
  • two bowls
  • timer

How many cotton balls can you pinch and transfer in one minute?

Pile up a bunch of cotton balls into one bowl and place an empty bowl and tongs next to it. Set a timer for 1 minute and see how many cotton balls your child can grab with the tongs and transfer to another bowl.

Modification: For added benefits, set the container with the cotton balls on the opposite side of their dominant hand. This will encourage some crossing midline as they reach across to grab a cotton ball. You are working on pinch and grasp strength, visual-motor and the added crossing midline skills with this activity.

Alternative items: any type of kitchen tong or tweezer will work for this activity. We used take-out container bowls to transfer our cotton balls back and forth.

This activity works on pincer grasp, grasp strength, as well as visual-motor skills and bilateral coordination.


Items you will need:

  • beads
  • a bowl
  • pipe-cleaner
  • timer

How beads can you slide onto the pipe-cleaner the container in one minute?

Pour some beads into a bowl and provide your child with the pipe-cleaner or alternative lacing string. Set the timer for one minute and see how many beads they can string onto the pipe-cleaner.

Alternative items: You can substitute any size beads you want. For younger children, larger beads would be more appropriate. For older children, you can try small pearler beads or something of similar size. You can also substitute the pipe-cleaners for yarn, shoelaces, or thick string.

Make sure you tie a knot at one end so that the beads do not get pushed off the opposite end.

This activity works on pincer grasp, grasp strength, visual motor skills, bilateral coordination, and crossing midline.


Items you will need:

  • paper clips
  • paint color chips
  • bowl (optional)
  • timer

How paper clips  can you clip onto the paint chip in one minute?

Set a handful of paper clips on the table (you can put them in a bowl if that is easier). Set a timer for 1 minute and see how many paper clips your child can slip onto the paint chip.

Alternative items: If you don't have paint chips you can use card stock or Index cards. Use a sturdier type of paper for this activity so that the paper doesn't bend when your child slips the paper clips on. You can also use larger paper clips if the smaller ones are harder for your child to slip on.

This is a challenging fine motor activity, so it may not be appropriate for younger children. My 4-year-old struggled with this, but my 7-year-old was able to do It after I gave her some visual prompts for how to do it.

This activity works on pincer grasp, grasp strength, as well as visual motor skills.


Items you will need:

  • two bowls or baskets/containers
  • plastic eggs
  • spoons
  • timer

How eggs can you transfer and drop in one minute?

Place your plastic eggs into a basket or container and set out your spoons. Set another container on the opposite side of the room or table. Set the timer for 1 minute.

Have the children pick up a spoon and use it to scoop the egg onto their spoon. They can use the other hand to balance the egg initially but must put It behind their back or on their side while carrying the egg. See how many eggs they can transfer between baskets or containers in one minute.

Alternative items: If you don't have the plastic eggs you could substitute with large coins like quarters, cotton balls, or pom-poms.

This activity works on visual-motor skills as well as every-day life skills of holding the spoon and using it to scoop an item onto it.


Items you will need:

  • wooden blocks
  • timer

How many wood blocks can you stack 4 high in 1 minute.

Gather your large container or basket of wooden blocks. Since we had different shaped blocks, I got out 4 blocks of each shape so they didn't have to go searching for the right shape of the block.

Set the timer for 1 minute and see how many towers, 4 blocks high, they can stack.

Alternative items: If you don't have wooden blocks, plastic ones could work. Just expect that those may knock over easier. If you don't have blocks you could substitute with large or small building bricks.

Modifications: Instead of towers, you could use different designs as I have in this post here for developmental activities using blocks.

This activity works on pincer grasp, grasp strength, visual motor skills, and gross motor skills (grading movement and strength so they don't knock over the towers).

Get Your Free Fine Motor Minute to Win It Activity Printable

I've got all 8 activities plus the warm up activity in a handy printable download for you today.

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To get more activity ideas like this one, check out the links below.

Activities for Fine Motor Skill Development, for kids of all ages.

Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

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  1. Interesting activities! It will be so much fun for young children to build and improve their skills. Thank you.

  2. Francesca says:

    Hello, and thanks for sharing your article, I would like to know where did you buy your car’s clip chips? they are very lovely, thanks a lot

  3. I honestly don’t remember where I got the colored ones, I’ve had been for ages. The white ones I got from Hobby Lobby I believe.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
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All activities outlined on the Website are designed for completion with adult supervision. Please use your own judgment with your child and do not provide objects that could pose a choking hazard to young children. Never leave a child unattended during these activities. Please be aware of and follow all age recommendations on all products used in these activities. Growing Hands-On Kids is not liable for any injury when replicating any of the activities found on this blog.

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