Celebrate the Rio Olympics and prepare children for handwriting and a range of other essential life skills using these fun activities for practising fine motor skills.
Fine motor skills are important for children to help them control small movements using the muscles in their hands and arms and hand eye co ordination. These fun activities include a range of skills which will help them to develop this control including cutting, using pegs, shaping soft dough and moving toy cars.
This activity is really simple to set up by sticking together paper drawing on lines to form the track. The difficulty level of the track can be varied according to the children’s ability. Children can then select their own choice of moving vehicles to race to the finish line. In order to win the race children will need to adjust their grip, change direction and maintain speed.
A longer route with sharper changes of direction will help to provide a greater challenge.
Making the Olympic Rings
Creating Olympic rings using a variety of craft materials can be a fun way for children to learn about the Olympics whilst using their hands. The six colours of the rings features at least one colour from every worldwide flag. The rings can be created using soft dough, pipe cleaners, paper chains and beads on string. Manipulating these different materials will help to get all of the muscles in their fingers working and help to develop their fin motor skills.
Cutting out flags to make their own flag bunting gives children the chance to practice using scissors with a combination of strength and co ordination needed to squeeze and release the scissors. Using pegs to attach the flags to a long piece of string will also help to develop finger muscles. The final result is a lovely way to decorate a room in celebration of the Olympics.
Whilst the rectangular flags are quite simple to cut out, this activity can be made more challenging by using varying shapes of flags. This activity is also a great way for children to learn about different countries and begin to recognise their flags.
Resources: Scrap paper, foil
Finger football is a fun mini sized sport that will get children working in pairs whilst practising their fine motor skills. The football pitch can simply be drawn onto a large piece of paper. Children can scrunch up a piece of tin foil to use a s a ball which will also use the muscles in their hands. The children then need to move and flick the ball to try and score a goal. Another child can also get involved counting and keeping score perhaps writing it onto a mini whiteboard.
Cotton Wool Painted Flags
To set up this activity, draw aflag shape onto a piece of A4 paper. The colours of the flag can then be filled in using a piece of cotton wool, held using a peg and dipped in paint before printing onto the paper. Squeezing and holding the peg will help to develop finger muscles whilst keeping the paint within the lines will require the children to practice careful hand eye co ordination. A more complex flag such as the British or Greek flag can be used to create a more challenging activity.