Fine motor skills need developing in early childhood to prepare children for the future.

Often the learning focus is fine motor skills as a pre-writing activity. But there are many reasons children need to develop fine motor dexterity.

  • Doing up buttons;
  • lacing shoes;
  • using pegs/zips/velcro;
  • eating with a knife and fork;
  • using scissors;
  • holding a pencil, a paintbrush;
  • manipulating a computer mouse…the list goes on.

Fine motor exercises help develop coordination of small muscle movements in wrists and fingers. They build up strength and assist with hand-eye coordination. So, it’s simple – get the pencils and scissors out, the more children use them the better.
Using scissors to cut wavy and zigzag lines or line making with crayons/pencils aren’t the only ways to improve fine motor skills. Some experts even argue those activities are counter productive in preschool*.

Instead get out the marbles and get creative with fine motor skill learning experiences


Ideas from the Educa Pinterest board

Marbles for Learning

  • hide marbles in playdough
  • cut up pool noodles into 2cm lengths and use tongs to place the marbles in the holes
  • use a small brush to sweep marbles around on a tray
  • scoop marbles using teaspoons into plastic bottles



Explorations with marbles. An invitation to play

Set up an area where marbles can be explored, rolled, dropped, gathered in handfuls and shared out between containers

Use a container with slightly larger than marble sized holes in the lid for transferring (use oversize tweezers to make it more challenging)

source: jojoebi-designs
source: jojoebi-designs


Montessori Pincer Muscles Exercises

Golf tees, polystyrene and tongs make this a fine motor challenge – balance those cats eyes



ACECQA – Supporting Children’s Development – Fine Motor Skills

*Fingergym – Fine Motor Development


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