Teachers have many options for developing fine motor skills for toddlers, and it goes far beyond lessons about spelling for kids. Try incorporating nature explorations into your lesson plans. Establishing an appreciation of nature in toddlers influences the same love of nature for preschoolers.
Turn learning about the planet into an educational activity that focuses o developing fine motors skills with our Learn Every Day About Our Green Earth, where you'll find 100 ideas from teachers.
Below are a few activities that utilize fine motor skills.
Learning Objectives: The children will use small motor skills to make "bug bodies," and develop their small motor skills by using tape and/or glue.
- Plastic utensils
- Plastic caps
- Wiggle eyes
What to Do
- Explain to the children that when we drop trash on the ground, we are "litter bugs." This trash can wash into streams and cause problems for animals, plants, and people. We need to make sure litter goes into trash cans and recycling bins.
- Have each child wad up a piece of newspaper. They should make a ball about the size of a baseball. Use tape to keep it in a ball shape.
- Have the children select plastic utensils for legs, a plastic cap for a hat, and wiggle eyes. They can then glue or tape these items onto their litter bugs.
- Arrange these litter bugs around the room to remind everyone that litter goes in specific places.
- Can each child make a paper ball body?
- Can each child add limbs, a cap, and eyes to a paper ball body?
Learning Objectives: The children will develop their small motor skills, and explore paint and painting.
- Pine needles
- Watercolor paint (in solid cakes)
- White paper
What to Do
- Discuss painting with the children. Explain that people often use brushes to paint, but it is possible to use a wide variety of materials when making a painting.
- Place feathers, pine needles, leaves, and sticks within the children's reach.
- Give each child a paper and watercolors.
- Invite the children to use the items on the table or an easel to paint a picture.
- Encourage the children to paint scenes they see, or to imagine scenes or abstract designs they would like to paint.
- Talk with the children about their paintings as they are working. Ask the children to describe what they are painting.
- Take the children on a nature walk so they can collect the items that they will use to paint with.
- Have the children use other items to paint with, such as kitchen utensils or old tools.
- How well are the children able to manipulate and use the natural objects as painting tools?
- Are the children engaged? Are they happy with the art they created?
- What do the children choose to paint? Ask them to discuss their work. Consider having a group discussion about everyone's paintings.