Spring is a great time to include fine motor activities for preschool and kindergarten. Keep reading to gather ideas for engaging, hands-on learning activities that are simple to prepare.
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Along with numbers and the alphabet, fine motor skills are another important area of development for preschoolers and kindergarteners to practice.
But that doesn’t mean that your little one needs to do boring, tedious work to strengthen the hand muscles needed for writing. It’s much more fun to use hands-on and engaging activities that are also seasonal! Keep reading for great ideas to add to your little one’s learning this spring.
Spring Fine Motor Activities for Preschool & Kindergarten
Whether my kids started their preschool years at home or in a school, I always had hands-on activities ready to go. Engaging preschool activities are great to pull out when you need to answer an important phone call or focus on teaching your fourth grader long division.
For example, there’s a small bookshelf in our school room just for my youngest. I change out the activities monthly to keep them fresh, but they always consist of hands-on activities that focus on fine motor, math, or literacy skills. I show him in advance how to do the activities, but he knows he’s allowed to play with anything on those shelves, so he’ll pull them off to work on during free time. He doesn’t realize they are learning activities. He just knows they’re fun!
Check out the spring fine motor activities you see below for a ready-made set of activities to use with your preschooler or kindergartener. Your little ones can also work on math and literacy skills with the fun seasonal printables found in the spring math and literacy activities.
Spring Playdough Activities
Playdough is one of my favorite hands-on learning tools to use with preschoolers and kindergarteners. It’s wonderful for developing fine motor skills. Playdough is inexpensive, you can even make it yourself, and comes in many different colors. Kids can roll and smash it or use different playdough tools to cut, roll, and stamp, which further builds hand strength.
Different activities can be used with playdough to help your preschooler or kindergartener with fine motor development. One activity is to create a playdough tray, sort of an invitation for open-ended play. I like to make playdough at home, so I’ll make some in seasonal colors. Then I’ll grab small seasonal objects I find at Hobby Lobby or Dollar Tree, gems, cut up colorful straws, or anything else that is fun to use with playdough. Those along with some playdough tools are perfect for a playdough tray.
Other activity ideas for playdough include playdough mats. These mats can include seasonal pictures for preschoolers to cover, as well as letters, numbers, or shapes. They are a great way to add in visual discrimination and problem-solving skills along with the fine motor development.
Spring Activities Using Manipulatives
Along with playdough, small manipulatives like gems and linking cubes work well to build fine motor skills. These materials require children to use a pincer grasp, which is different that rolling with playdough. Using mats like those in the picture below also require them to focus on placing the manipulatives in the correct place. They could use objects like gems or pompoms to fill the circles.
Additionally, linking cubes also make great manipulatives for building fine motor skills. Preschoolers can make their own creations with them. They could also use printable design mats or cards to copy seasonal designs. Linking cubes can also be beneficial for counting and sorting activities.
Drawing and Tracing Activities for Spring
As preschoolers and kindergarteners build stronger hand muscles, they can work on activities that require more concentration and hand strength. These prewriting activities may include drawing or tracing. Children can draw pictures with pencils, crayons, or markers of seasonal scenes. Tracing seasonal objects is also a fun way to work on drawing.
Using a salt tray to practice letter, number or shape formation is another fine motor activity that also works on math or literacy skills. You can find more information out about that, along with sixteen other activities, in this post on spring preschool activities.
Being able to focus and hold writing utensils can also be practiced with do a dot markers. Using these markers on seasonal objects, like in the picture below, helps little ones concentrate on placing the dots in the circles. Since these markers are a little larger than others, they are easier for little hands to hold. Preschoolers and kindergarteners can create their own seasonal pictures on blank paper too.
Spring Lacing & Cutting Activities
Along with drawing and tracing, activities like lacing and cutting are also great for building hand strength. These are also activities that help little ones practice concentration and hand-eye coordination skills. Kids will love cutting or lacing fun spring objects like frogs, flowers, and birds. Cutting can be a very tough skill for little ones to figure out, so the more practice they get the better.
Spring Painting Activities
Painting is another activity that works great for building fine motor skills. Simply putting out some blank paper and watercolors is an incredibly easy way to do this. Another fun way is for little ones to use items besides paint brushes to paint. My little guy loves to use cotton swabs to dab around seasonal pictures. A small plate with a few drops of washable paint and a few cotton swabs along with the pictures is all you need to easily work on fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and concentration.
Spring Color by Code Activities
An activity my kindergartener has really enjoyed lately is color by code sheets. He loves coloring pictures that require him to add or find numbers to color with specific colors. Using fun seasonal pictures, like in the spring and Easter sheets below, makes math that much more fun.
Coloring is perfect for building fine motor skills. Kids learn to hold crayons similarly to how they’ll hold pencils when writing. They work on following directions to figure out which colors to use on each space. Plus they practice coloring in a specific space with the bonus of having a fun colorful picture to enjoy when they’re done.
As you can see, activities to help your little ones develop fine motor skills don’t have to be boring. Your child will love playing with playdough, creating objects with linking cubes, painting with do a dot markers or cotton swabs, lacing and more. These hands-on activities are not only fun, they also strengthen hand muscles, work on hand-eye coordination, and require focus. Fine motor skills like these are just as important for preschoolers and kindergarteners as counting and learning the alphabet.