Fine Motor Activities

Fine Motor ABC


I recently reviewed a book sent to me by the author Stacie Erfle, MS, OTR/L. It has lots of simple and fun activities with great visuals to help your child strengthen their fine motor skills. The book is alphabet themed, so each letter of the alphabet represents a different activity beginning with that letter! I promised to test drive it…Here are some way that I use the book and the kids love it!

1- Whatever letter of the Alphabet I am working on that day, I ask the children to open to that letter and we do the corresponding activity.

2- Child opens up to each letter of their name and we do those activities

3- I made a spinner with all the letters of the alphabet. We play a game where the child spins the wheel and whatever letter they fall on is the activity we have to do.

You can purchase on Amazon. Enjoy!


Fine Motor Activities

Math the OT Way

Math the OT way:

Use lots of visuals!!!


Use manipulatives ex: pegs, cubes, number line. For younger children, I suggest you using  loose cubes rather than the cubes that click together to connect. I have seen many struggle with the fine motor component of clicking cubes together and separating them due to lack of strength and coordination. This slows down the learning process. They become focused on the motor portion of this task and lose the attention to the math problem they are trying to solve. The loose cubes allow for more flow so that the attention is on the math equation rather than the motor skill.worms

Use real life examples to solve problems that children can relate to first while they learn the concept, then graduate to other “abstract” examples. For instance you can begin with problems such as, you have 3 toy cars and mom buys you 3 more cars for your bday. How many cars do you have in all? Then you can provide more abstract examples such as  There are 4 birds in the tree and 2 more birds come to sit in the tree, how many birds in all?


I love using white boards to complete calculations before putting it on paper. Children tend to have less hesitation to make mistakes on a white board that they can erase. Also, for children that have difficulty with writing skills, the whiteboard has less friction and allows them to flow more easily with their writing thus the attention is on solving the math equation and not focusing on the formation of numbers or holding the pencil to paper.


Teach measurements with actual items ex: paper clip vs width of a desk. Teach volume with measuring cups and liquids, solids etc. Teach money concept with actual coins and bills. The more children can experience real life examples, the more sensory the experience and therefore the greater potential for learning.


Don’t get stuck on teaching with worksheets. There are many wonderful games that can be used to teach math concepts. I like to use Pop the Pig for number recognition, counting and also writing down the numbers. I also have children pick 2 burgers and add up the numbers. Motivation facilitates learning. After playing a game like this, I like to give them one or 2 worksheet problems and relate the concept t the game we just played so that they themselves can see the direct relationship between the worksheet math and game math. ex: After pop the pig game where they pick up numbered burgers and feed the pig, I make them do a math equation and use the burgers example to help them solve.



Fine Motor Activities

Fall Foam Stickers

1- Create a fall scene using stickers This is a great activity for little ones. Peeling stickers has the advantage of working on pincer strength (an important component of dexterity) while allowing children to express their creativity.


2- Create a pattern on a small rectangular card. Draw a line to separate the card and ask children to copy the pattern that you see. They can then cut them in half to create fall tags. This is a wonderful visual-perceptual skill to learn.


3-Draw outline in paper and children have to find the matching sticker to the outline. This is a great visual perceptual game.


4-Peel 6 different stickers and place on a large die. Roll the die and the first to find that sticker wins a point.


For older children Create patterned cards. Children pick a card and have to pick out the stickers that create the pattern.


5-Create a sequence pattern and ask children to continue the sequence. This is a great visual perceptual and problem solving task.

6- Learning to trace is an important precursor to handwriting. Children learn to control their pencil. Using raised foam stickers is a great way to teach that skill to little ones because the sticker is raised and stays put! You can make this activity more challenging by not sticking down the sticker to the paper. Children have to coordinate both hands while tracing so that the sticker doesn’t move.


7-Use a foam cube (dollar store) and stick foam stickers on it. Dip in paint to create a stamp. Note: if the foam sticker is too thin, put a second sticker on top of it. Stamps are a great way to strengthen little hands.

8-Work on handwriting by stick foam animal stickers on paper and draw a talking bubble where children can practice to write. If you laminate the bubble, you can re-use with dry erase markers.write