Looking for Ideas for Fine Motor Development

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by sarzacsmom, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Sep 11, 2008

    I am teaching the 3 year old early preschool class and we have been working on our fine motor skills. Some of the children are having a very difficult time with this area. Today we did an activity that involved squeezing a clothespin to open it and using it to pick up small pompoms. All the children grasped the concept which I was very pleased about---but some of them had a very difficult time squeezing the clothespin--and I realized that they just don't have the fine motor strength --- so I am brainstorming activities that will help them develop the strength and dexterity in their fingers and wrists---this is what I've come up with: Sponges ( fill up a bowl by soaking water up with a sponge and squeezing it into the cup), bean sorting (2 or 3 types of dry beans in a bowl and picking htem up one at a time to seperate into bowls or cups), making squishy bags (snack size zip-loc bags half filled with hair gel and adding sequins, foil confettit etc. and sealed with duct tape) that they can squeeze and pinch to make the sequins etc move around), bubble wrap (pinch and squeeze it to pop it), and water squirters (rubber ducks and fish that you put under the water and squeeze then let go to fill and then above water you can squeeze to squirt the water) I would love to be able to do a water gun because the trigger action is great for strenthening the index finger muscles, but I know I can't do that! I was going to make somthing that we used years ago--balloons filled with flour and tied make great squishy balls but we aren't allowed to use balloons in the center at all. I had thought about asking my director to make an exception if I tied the balloons inside panty hose so that if the balloon was to break the kids couldn't get it in their mouths. I do have one squishy ball and of course playdough and peg puzzles and the other "manipulative" toys like lacing cards etc-- but I'm looking for ideas for things that are outside the nor that the kids would be excited about playing with.
     
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  3. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    Sep 11, 2008

    instead of using beans, could you not use different colored beads, so they get some color knowledge as well, and after they are sorted you could make something out of them, so not only will they have to sort the colors, but they'll get more fms by string them on a rope for a necklace or something. Just a thought :D
     
  4. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    I have beads for stringing in my classroom but teh only other beads wee have are the very tiny pony beads--- I'm not sure they can pick up something that small yet--- but it actually was on my list---I have to talk to my director about using such small items with the 3s. I was able to get brown beans and white beans
     
  5. vbubbles1874

    vbubbles1874 Companion

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    Sep 11, 2008

    Lakeshore has those large lacing beads or you could have them string rigatoni pasta. It's easy and safe. Have ou thought about lacing cards? I also suggest getting the plastic kids tweezers and having the kids pick up beans or popcorn kernals. I have empty dish liquid bottles in the sensory table with water. They have to squeeze it to fill up and then again to empty it.
     
  6. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    As I said in my previous posts I do hav lacing cards, beads that they string and the fish and duck squirters and the clothes pins emulate the tweezers--- I m just looking for something new and creative that might peak the childrens interests
     
  7. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Sep 11, 2008

    My 3's last year could string pony beads, although the kids with lower levels of skills in that area found them tough... but boy, were they motivating! They found it easier to string them on pipe cleaners than on yarn, though... even with tape/glue on the end of the yarn it often frayed.

    My kids have also liked wikki sticks... forming stuff with them or just smushing them together. How about putting rubber bands on peg boards?

    Instead of a balloon, you might be able to get away with using rubber gloves... last year, I had some filled with beans and birdseed (double layer of gloves, of course) for science exploration... but they'd work well filled with the cornstarch/water mix or the glue/borax mix, too...

    Playdough is also good for fine motor! :)
     
  8. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Sep 11, 2008

    You are doing a great job of giving them a variety of activites for fine motor. Here are a few more:

    1. Lite brites
    2. Tongs (ice tongs work the best)
    3. Muffin tins and sorting--anything: beads, rocks, counting chips, etc.
    4. Stringing anything from pasta to cut up straws.
    5. Have them use the clothes pins to hang up doll clothes that they have washed, to dry.
    6. Pushing buttons--typewriters, computer keyboards, pianos
    7. Finger painting.
    8. Eye droppers

    Good luck
     
  9. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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  10. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Sep 14, 2008

    Thanks for the feed back-- I am not allowed to have lightbrite with 3 year olds. I do have a thing that is similar but dows not use light I can't remember what it is called but it has a clear plastic top with holes in it and large special pegs that fit in the holes and cards with pictures on them that go under it and they have to put the correct colored pegs in the holes to match the picture and it makes the picture with the pegs.

    I tried the bean sorting and that went well. Some still struggles with picking them up and i wasn't real picky about the sorting as long as they were picking them u p one at a time off the plate and putting them in the cups. We are going to try making "gell o bags" this week ( hair gel with sequins and foil confetti inside a snack sixe ziploc bag (doubled) and duct taped closed. the assitant that covers my lunch break will do playdough play with them everyday for a while. I am thinking about making discovery bottles and showing them to how to flip them back and forth to use to help stren(hen wrist muscles and I might still have one of those things 9don't knwo what they are called)--it's has two metal runner type things and a wheel that has a magnetic spoke through it and you roll your wrist back and forth and it rolls across it and thenunder it and then back up to the top side-- often they have them out around easter and they have a bunny on the wheel--they are usually at walmart at easter time for like a dollar. I have bean bags too that I was thinking I coudl pass out at the table and have them just squish them and scrunch them as well.
     
  11. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    My director reimbursed me for the beans, the hair gel, snack size ziploc bags and the chip clips i bought for the kids to use! She told me she thinks they are great ideas . . . .that made me feel better---
     
  12. WaProvider

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    Sep 14, 2008

    We don't do squirt gun either, but bottles like choc syrup or ketchup make great squirters for the larger muscles in your hand and wrist. IF your children can do that easily move up to plant misters or regular squirt bottles - the trigger is different but still difficult and strengthing.
     
  13. WaProvider

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    Sep 14, 2008

    for bigger beads you could just color the pasta size you need and then start reducing the size.
     
  14. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Today was really bad--- i am all for process over product but what do you do when a child refuss to even try an i you try to help him hand on hand he lets go of the item (scissors/glue stick/marker etc). I can't work with him one on one all the time with 7 toher children to help an I can't give him extra help be cause his mother doesn't bring him in to school until we are already fully into curriculum time --I did send home a no te today asking if there was any way that he could come in earlier so I can help him with some one on one before we start curriculum time but he has two siblings so I don't know if mom will consider it (i dont 'believe she works). I know this child has had a hard tme -- they ahve moved likek 4 times this last year and he's never been in a preschool before. Mom checked off that he's had experience with scissors before but I dont' know what kind because h keepstrying to hold them with two hands. I had a lot of issues with him about being potty trained too until my director told mom that she was having me journal al his bathroom accidents and that id he didn't show major improvement by the end of Ssept he would have to be removed form the program because being fully potty trained is a requirement to be in my room and mom siad he was (he had as many as 4 accidents --poop and pee every day). My director had that convrsation with her on a Friday and beginning o the following Monday he didn't have any accidents, and all we are doing different is waking him up half way through nap to go to the bathroom and letting him go right back to sleep.
     
  15. PennStateCutie

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    Sep 15, 2008

    These are cut & pasted from a list of ideas that I send home with kids who are struggling w/ fine motor skills (along with a letter to the parents, plus a "goodie bag" of tools needed for many of the activities)

    • Use the clothespin to pick up beads (or other small objects) & transfer them from one container to another.
    • Tear a piece of paper into small squares and then crumple them up into “spit balls”. Stick the balls into a straw (this also helps with perception).
    • Hide a specified number of pennies, beads or buttons in clay and then have your child pull, squeeze and “dig” in the clay to find all of them.
    • Bend, twist and twirl the pipe cleaners together into any shape!
    • Roll the clay into tiny balls, using the table top, or between two hands, or even between just two fingers.
    • Take a sheet of newspaper & crumple it up into a ball, using just one hand.
    • Use a spray bottle to water plants, “paint” the sidewalk, or to make sidewalk chalk pictures “melt” away.
    • Use tweezers to pick up small objects such as beads or Cheerios.
    • Shake dice (or any small object) by cupping the hands together.
    • Make necklaces with small beads, cheerios or macaroni, by stringing them on to yarn or twine (a piece of tape on the end keeps it from fraying).
    • Turn over cards, coins, checkers, or buttons, without bringing them to the edge of the table.
    • Use scissors to cut up junk mail or very thin cardboard (like a cereal box).
    • Use scissors to “fringe” the edge of a piece of construction paper.
    • Use an old pair of scissors to cut clay or play-doh.
    • Trace around stencils
    • Tape a piece of drawing paper to the wall. Draw dots in any formation & then have her “connect the dots!”
    • Finger paint! You could also use sand or shaving cream instead of paint.
    • Wet a sponge, and then squeeze all the water out (great in the bathtub!).
    • Using an eye dropper is also great practice, if you can find one.
    • Find a water gun (many dollar stores have them) to use in the bathtub.
    • Use “squirty” toys in the tub, such as rubber ducks that squirt water out of their mouths!
     

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