In the classroom, children have many opportunities to practice fine motor skills. However, it is important for them to also practice these skills when they are not in school. There are a lot of fun activities your children can do during their summer vacation to improve fine motor skills. Here are some ideas to help kids improve their ability to use their vision, use their hands (write, draw, cut), as well as improve their ability to do things independently:

  • Use a Q-tip to apply dots of paint when painting instead of using a paint brush
  • Pass a balloon using pool noodles (similar to a bat and ball or on the ground similar to hockey)
  • Paper folding to create animals and then cut the folded paper to create different designs
  • Velcro toss games involving a Velcro “mitt” and tennis ball
  • An adult can cut a slit in a tennis ball or racquetball, then use the ball to squeeze and put objects inside (beads, coins), as well as squeeze to remove the objects
  • Play with messy substances (magnetic slime, glitter slime, floam slime, etc.)

The internet and specifically Pinterest, offer many “make your own” slimy substance recipes to explore and play with.

  • Use tongs or tweezers to stack small blocks or count objects such as jacks
  • Obstacle courses outside which involve jumping, crawling, and hopping. Pool noodles are a useful tool to create the course.
  • Use broken crayons to color small pictures
  • Use bath crayons or window crayons to work on forming shapes and writing letters
  • Playing Simon Says
  • Animal walks: walk like a bear, slither like a snake, jump like a frog, hop like a rabbit, etc.
  • Songs with movements such as Itsy bitsy spider and I’m a little teapot
  • Work on putting on and taking off shoes on their own (3 year olds), or learning to tie shoes (5 year olds).
  • Helping with household chores (sweeping, wiping tables, making his/her bed)

If you need further ideas or would like to learn more about how an Occupational Therapist can help please contact us at:  North Country Hospital Rehabilitation Services Occupational Therapy 802-334-3260.

Submitted by: Kristen Jackson, MOTR/L

Kristen began working at NCH in the Rehabilitation Services Department in February 2007. She earned her Master’s of Occupational Therapy degree in January 2007 from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. Kristen provides services to clients of all ages from infant to elderly. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, and Newsletter chair for the Vermont Occupational Therapy Association (VOTA).