As Preschool Teachers, we all know how important it is for our preschoolers to develop their fine motor skills. The experiences we provide allow the children to build the small muscles in their fingers and hands which enable them to hold and use writing equipment appropriately, a very important pre-writing skill!
In my preschool room, I aim to have a specific fine motor experience out for the children in every session. This may include a normal experience such as puzzles and threading, or it may be an experience specific to the theme we are studying at the time such as play dough with space figurines.
Some of the fine motor experiences I have provided in my classroom include :
Dye Drop Pictures : Using pipettes with dye and paper towel. The children have to use their finger muscles to draw up the dye into the pipette, as well as control the flow of the dye on to the paper to ensure it all doesn't all come rushing out at once!
Cutting Experiences : Children love cutting things and much of this often ends up on the floor! To contain this experience, I placed different materials in a large sand tray. This included scrap pieces of paper, streamers and straws (which the children are obsessed with cutting, I think becuase they fly off everywhere when chopped). We provided a jar of scisssors and off the children went!
We also provided magazines, paper and glue and allowed the children to cut out their own pictures.
Sewing : We provided hessian, wool and saftey needles. I wasn't sure how the children would go with this at first, but they loved this experience and we saw many beautiful creations!
Puzzles : The chiildren always love these experiences. I often try to link this to the theme we are studying at the time.
Threading : Any type of threading experience, including purchased items such as the tree's below or providing materials for the children to create their own threading to take home are always a popular experience, especially with my three year olds!
Construction : Different types of construction allow the children to develop those small muscles in their fingers, especially construction that takes a bit of effort to connect such as zoob.
Screws, Nuts and Bolts : I have provided this type of experience in both the example seen below which is a construction set and with real nuts and bolts that I had purchased from the hardwarde store. I can't seem to find a photo of that experience! I just purchased a bunch of different sixed nuts and bolts and the children had to work on matching the pieces together. Another idea that is similar to this is to include different sized padlocks and keys.
Tap Tap : This experience is always a popular experience in my classroom and holding and tapping a nail without hitting a finger is always a challenge! The children also love the real woodwork area we have in our outdoor environment.
I also like the following experiences and plan to use them in the classroom in the future...
Plate Sewing : Can't wait to try out this idea in the classroom, could be a lead in to the hessian sewing experience.
Sorting Pom Poms : Love how colourful this experience is, the children would be instantly drawn to it.
Washing Line : I have done this before using baby clothes and the children love it! I mean, water play and three year olds, need I say more? I need to remember to provide this experience more often.
Buttons and Pipe Cleaners : Love this diferent threading experience.
I can't wait to try out some of these new ideas in the classroom.