Motor skills are fine movements such as holding a fork, cutting with scissors, and buttoning up pants, and there are activities that can be done with children, in order to improve upon these acts.
What is even better is that most of these activities can be done at home, with things that are already laying around the house; just get ready for some DIY projects! From making something interactive or artsy to coming up with a one-of-a-kind game, these 10 ideas will keep kids (and many adults, as well) entertained for quite some time, all while enhancing their motor skills.
10 Hardware Wall
Something is seen online and via social media pretty often is a DIY motor skills wall. To create this, one will need a base surface, such as foam board, a presentation display, plywood or even a wall in the house or garage that is okay to screw into, glue onto and such.
Next up, gather hardware items that are extras and/or that are not being used, such as chain locks, zippers, wheels, latches, and nuts and bolts. Children will enjoy opening up, closing, spinning, securing and mastering all of these little items, using fine movements to do so!
9 Fill-In-The-Sticker Art
A popular pastime is creating art, and holding a crayon, pencil or paintbrush can be challenging for young ones. The more they work on this, the better, though, and it can all be taken up a notch with stickers.
After a pretty picture is done, have the little artist fill in any blanks with certain stickers. Perhaps a bird should be set in that tree. Maybe that stick figure needs a hat on its head. A UFO could be added to the sky. A pot of gold may appear at the end of that rainbow. This fun activity will require even more motor skills.
8 Recycled Spice Jars
This next DIY project is one that is also good for the planet; instead of disposing of spice jars when they are empty, use them to help out the kiddos! These bottles and canisters all have different tops, such as big openings, tiny holes, and even spouts.
Children can take some time to put different types of noodles, beads or rocks (or miniature pom-pom balls, which are seen here, going into an old parmesan cheese container) into these various jars, which is another way to work on and to perfect certain movements.
7 Homemade Playdough
There are lots of homemade playdough recipes out there, and playing with this stuff is also good; the kneading, the breaking apart, the building… All of this requires little fingers to move and work in a specific way.
To take this even further, have kids make creations using the playdough and found objects. They could stick pieces of paper around a ball of dough, in order to make the shape of a flower. They could place uncooked spaghetti into the top of a flat surface, in order to make an abstract form of grass. They could put googly eyes onto a blog, in order to make a monster, too!
6 Customizable Jewelry
Jewelry is another neat thing that many kiddos enjoying making, and once again, fine motor skills are needed in order to make this all happen. Before beginning, gather up strand-like objects, such as string, pipe cleaners, and spaghetti noodles. Then, gather up pieces that can be threaded, like beads, washers, and Cheerios.
Whether the jewelry is made to keep, sell, or to give to someone special, everyone will have a great time putting together unique accessories… accessories made out of household items and that are put together using these skills that are being enhanced time after time!
5 Sorting Game
For a sorting game like this one, almost anything in the home can be used. All that matters is that youngsters are working on using their hands, fingers, and minds to pick up objects and place them in specific areas.
On a larger scale, this could involve cleaning up toys and putting them away at the end of the day. On a smaller scale, this could involve placing red buttons into a red box, square-shaped foods into a square-shaped container, and so on. Any activity like this is going to definitely be teaching some important skills.
4 Elevated Sorting Game
Of course, the elevated version of this would make it more challenging… Many children have toys that are receptacles with shapes, where blocks in those shapes can be inserted. Well, a toy like this can be made at home!
The easiest way is to, once again, upcycle containers, bottles, and jars (such as an empty Pringles can). Then, cut shapes into the top of each one. Next, cut out cardstock or cardboard (regular paper will get bent up and ripped), copying each of the shapes. Finally, have kids work to get each paper shape into the right hole.
3 Paper Dolls
Paper dolls have been around for years and years; it's an entertaining activity for any child where they can make their own. A parent could print out some patterns so that kids can cut out their paper boys, paper girls, paper cats, or paper snowmen. Stencils could also be used for the clothes and accessories, or older kids could draw and cut out their own.
Let the artistic abilities run freely here, as hat shapes are placed on animal heads, bright designs are colored onto clothing items, and paper families are built with motor skills.
2 Popsicle Stick Frame
Another art project that can build up these skills involves popsicle sticks, and this is a smart one to try around a holiday, as the finished product would make a sweet gift!
Children should put popsicle sticks into square or rectangular shapes and glue them together (multiple layers could even be added, as well). After that, they can also glue on glitter, pom poms, buttons, tissue paper or other items that will add a pop. In the end, stick a photo against the back of this, and voilà — a DIY picture frame to give to a loved one.
1 Homemade Magnets
The final suggestion for an at-home activity that can enhance a child’s motor skills is to make magnets. Craft stores sell sheets of magnetic paper, and these can be cut into small parts that will adhere to the back of anything and everything!
So get together some cool rocks, some old jewelry, a kid’s broken toys, or colored pictures… Whatever is chosen can be placed onto magnetic pieces and hung up on the fridge. Everyone will love these homemade magnets and will be learning, growing, enhancing. and developing as they go, too.