5 Simple Activities To Strengthen Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills: How To Build Your Child’s Hand and Wrist Muscles

5 Simple Activities for Fine Motor Skills

My nephew is now approaching two years old. He is now more active. He is unstoppable when it comes to playing. And, boy can he play!

Every morning, we have our study session. Yup! You read that right. We have a study session.

It’s not really a formal type of class. It’s not even that planned. Most of the time, I just bring out whatever material I previously used and VOILA! Instant morning toddler class.

I just always come up with an activity for him every morning after he does his morning walk with Papa (my dad, his grandpa.)

It’s like we’re playing school. I’m the teacher (a not so prepared one in this class) and he’s the student (a funny and very obedient- the first two minutes, after that, well…)

Our morning classes may not be that planned yet, at this point (I promise to be more mindful in the future.) But I can say that our activities are geared towards building his fine motor skills.

As a preschool teacher, I know how important these skills are. So please don’t judge me if I want to give my most favorite boy in the world an edge by starting early. 😀

5 Simple Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers P2

What Are Fine Motor Skills?

Fine motor skills involve the use of muscles in the hands, fingers and wrists. These skills are important for performing everyday self-care and academic tasks.

Children with well developed fine motor skills display efficiency in tasks such as writing, cutting, tying shoelaces, eating with utensils and doing buttons.

On the other hand, under developed fine motor skills can put children at a disadvantage. They tend to have low self-esteem, poor performance at school and could not display independence.

Being a preschool teacher, I have seen a lot of children struggling with school activities just because their hands aren’t strong enough to handle fine motor tasks. Because of this challenge, they have the tendency to lag behind compared to their peers who display well developed fine motor skills.

The good news is: The struggle is temporary. Children with under developed fine motor skills can overcome their difficulties through constant practice and targeted exercises. Over time, they catch up with their peers and perform fine motor tasks with ease as well (provided of course, that they don’t have an underlying motor skills issue.)

There are actually tons of activities that your child can do at home so he can build his muscles on his hands, fingers and wrists. And these activities, in guise of play, will give your child the edge in school- nope, actually in LIFE!

Fine Motor Skills

Here are the top activities that you can do with your child to improve his fine motor skills:

1. Play Dough

5 Simple Activities to Strengthen Fine Motor Skills

This moldable toy is always a hit to children. With their two hands, they can create different figures, from something as simple as a ball to something more complex as a robot.

As your child squeezes, pounds and molds, his fine motor muscles are then set in motion as they meet resistance from the clay. Neat, right? It’s just like resistance training for the hands.

Kendra (the girl on the picture) is my favorite girl in the world. Her mom is also a preschool teacher. So Kendra playing with homemade play dough is not surprising. That’s just her mom giving her the edge, too. 🙂

2. Squeeze a Sponge

Another hit with the children as this involves water play. See their eyes turn big as they squeeze out water from giant sponges.

In this simple water play, your child will indirectly learn about weight- the sponge is heavier when full with water and lighter after it’s squeezed out. Talk about a 2-in-1 learning experience!

3. Color with Crayons

5 Simple Activities To Strengthen Fine Motor Skills
Big crayon, little hand

This is already a preparatory school activity. And since your child is a newbie, there’s no need to fret about proper grip. I say, just let your child be. Anyway, when your child has developed his fine motor skills, it will be easy to ask him to assume the standard pencil tripod grip. For now, color away!

4. Lace a Toy

Benefits of Lacing

As children carefully grasp the lace and shoot it in strategically placed holes, they are unknowingly strengthening their finger muscles. This is also a good activity to practice their eye-hand coordination. Plus, it teaches patience and persistence. Who would have thought that a simple game could also develop character?

5. Paint, Paint, Paint

5 Simple Activities To Strengthen Fine Motor Skills

Whether with a paint brush or with your child’s fingers, this activity will definitely train his fine motor skills.

In each stroke of the paint brush, his wrist gets stronger. And with every press of his tiny painted finger on paper, his digits get more flexible.

And I think I don’t need to explain more when I say that this activity develops creativity. Full stop.

5 Simple Activities To Strengthen Fine Motor Skills
The Future Picasso

The above activities are highly recommended. These simple activities are sure fire way to help your child develop his fine motor skills. And the materials needed can be easily found at home, or at your nearest book store.

Teacher’s Advice: Start early. Give your child the edge by training his fine motor muscles so he can perform self-care and academic tasks with ease.

5 Simple Fine Motor Activities For Toddlers

Do you now see why I include these activities in my nephew’s morning routine? They are clearly simple activities yet the pay out is big. With just a couple of minutes being engaged in these fun exercises, he will surely rock it in school in the future. I declare it!

Credits to his beautiful and smart preschool teacher aunt. That’s me! Yey!

But, seriously, please do try these activities. They are 100% worth the time and effort.

Are you already doing these activities with your child? Which one is your child’s favorite?

If you have other activities in mind, please do share it with me by commenting below.

Oh, and please visit my Free Printable Page for more!

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The Teaching Aunt Signature: Teacher Nessy







39 Responses

  1. I love reading this post. I have two toddlers and this post greatly help me boost their fine motor skills. We really do not need to buy expensive toys to help them build their hand and wrist muscles. SImple toys and activities would help a lot.

  2. We actually have several lace toys and play with playdoh fairly often. Glad to see some other great options on here.

  3. These activities seems they are totally worth the time. Its really informative, with the help of above mentioned activities we can improve the IQ of the kids. Thanks alot for this great post..!!

  4. I never really connected the dots on how I learned fine motor skills but all of the activities above make so much sense! (Can you tell I don’t have children?)

    Yay for helping your nephew get ahead of a way in such a fun way while getting time for the two of you to develop an even deeper bond. That’s great!

  5. I never thought of using a sponge before. Maybe I could get them to clean dishes while they do that? Just kidding. Awesome tips. Crayons are great but get the washable ones unless you want your walls painted.

  6. My kids love play dough. It is definitely not my favorite thing because it can make such a big mess, but we still do it! 🙂

  7. Until I saw my baby cousin crying when told to touch a crayon, I’d always thought that fine motor skills are automatic to any kid. So definitely, it’s important to make kids embrace this as early as possible.

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The Teaching Aunt- Teacher Nessy

Hi! My name is Nessy. I’m a preschool teacher and I’ve just recently added “doting aunt” to my title. I have tons of teacher-approved and child-friendly activities (as young as toddler years!) that I would like to share with you. Happy reading!




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