5 Indoor Fine Motor Activities to Do At Home

Few of us were prepared for the challenge of keeping the kids busy while working from home!  Many parents are searching for activities that can stimulate creativity, maintain kids’ interest, and work on improving fine motor skills.  We’re here to help with some ideas.

1. Playdough or putty play: 

Roll the playdough or putty into a long rope, rolling it with two hands on a table. For more of a challenge, roll the playdough or putty between both palms. Add in some buttons or beads to hide and dig out with your fingers.  Use scissors to cut into pieces or a garlic press for extra fun.  Roll the playdough or putty out and use cookie cutters to make different shapes within the putty.  Looking for a tool that is already created?  Check out our ready made hide and seek Discovery Putty for hours of fun. 

2. Beading with beads or with cereal: 

Stringing beads on a pipe cleaner is a great way to work on fine motor skills. Add some fun by creating a snake, bracelets or magic wands. You can also use beading as a fun way to teach colors and patterns.  If a child is too young for beads, or they mouth objects, O-shaped cereal is a great substitute.  Shoelaces also work well if you do not have pipe cleaners.  

3.  Sensory writing trays: 

A sensory writing tray is a shallow container filled with any material (sand, salt, sugar, or shaving cream) that can be moved around with a finger or writing utensil to form lines, shapes, letters or numbers. The tray allows children to practice drawing and writing without the stress of holding a pencil.  Look at our tray for sand and putty, with its raised lip, to help keep art projects from causing a mess. 


4. Tweezers and ice cube tray:

Place objects on a table next to an ice cube tray.  Then, have children use their finger muscles to squeeze the tweezers in order to pick up the objects to place inside the compartment of the ice cube tray.  You can use pom poms, cotton balls, beads or any small objects that can be picked up and transferred.  You can work on counting, colors, and patterns.  If you don’t have an ice cube tray, try a muffin tin.  If you don’t have tweezers, try bending a straw in half to make tweezers and pick up the objects that way.  


5. Colander and pipe cleaner fun:

Take pipe cleaners and create large loops by putting the ends into the holes of a colander. Once you have created lots of loops, have the child work to pull the pipe cleaners out. Once mastered, have the child push and pull the pipe cleaners into the holes of the colander, inserting into one hole and pulling out the other.  If you do not have pipe cleaners, you can use Q-tips, straws, or string. 


All of these activities are so much fun for little hands and great for building those fine motor skills! You can use these same activities over and over again - just increase the difficulty by making the objects smaller or by using pincers or other tools.   If you have more questions about improving fine motor skills, please reach out to us in the comments or at [email protected]!