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The Nuts and Bolts of It

Book: GIANT Encyclopedia of Preschool Activities for 4-Year-Olds

Toys & Games/Manipulatives/Table Toys/Fine Motor




Fine Motor


4 Years Old


Small Group

PDF Available


4 sets each of small, medium, and large nuts and bolts
3 pieces of 2” x 4” (5 cm x 10 cm) wood, each 16” (40 cm) long
Super glue


1. Glue the top of a large bolt 2” (5 cm) from the end of one of the 2” x 4”
2. Glue three more large bolts to the board, at 4” (10 cm) intervals.
3. Repeat this procedure on another 2” x 4” board, using four medium-size
4. On the last 2” x 4” board, repeat the process again using four small bolts.
5. Allow the boards to dry.
6. Provide a board and the correct size and number of nuts to a child. Consider
the child’s fine motor abilities when choosing a board for her to use the
larger the bolt, the easier it is for a child to manipulate.
7. Show the child how to manipulate the nut and bolt together and encourage
her to practice her fine motor skills.
More to do
Make a board with assorted bolt sizes. This will challenge children to problem
solve as they locate and match the correct nut and bolt combinations.

More Activities to Try