small group fine motor activities

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by puff5655, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

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    Feb 10, 2011

    I have a group of kids with very weak fine motor control. I am going to take them in small groups 3X/week to work on that for 15 minutes at a time. I'm looking for websites with printable mazes, scissor practice sheets, and tracing activities that are fun and appropriate for preschoolers.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Feb 10, 2011

    Also, don't forget things like...
    playdough
    lacing (if you can use fun foam or cardboard and those nylon lanyard strings, they're easier to control)
    stringing beads
    anything that involves isolating two or three fingers to pick things up (moving from a small cup to a larger one, etc)
     
  4. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    Feb 10, 2011

    I have straws in my bean table with scissors for cutting them. You can add scissors to playdoh. beads and pegs are fun too. I have some big push pins -- got them at walmart -- and I pair them up with seasonal pictures and a placemat. The children lay out the mat, put the picture on the mat, and punch around the edges with the push pin. The pictures are outlines only and very simple. Right now it's a heart.

    Confession of a homeschooler is a great blog for things to print out. She has lots of tracing and scissor work.
     
  5. forkids

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    I do one with the small dot stickers. Kids work in pairs, one puts the stickers on paper one at a time and the other uses a pencil/crayon to connect the dots. Peeling and sticking the dots gives finger muscles a workout. I have them do one picture, then swap roles and do a second. I usually have them look at the picture they created and describe what it looks like as well.
     
  6. forkids

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    Feb 10, 2011

     
  7. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Any kind of manipulatives will help develop small motor skills.
    lacing, buttoning, bears, puzzles, sensory table, legos, etc.
    I suggest not just doing one manipulative (aka scissors) but giving them a variety in order to develop ALL small motor areas.
     
  8. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Feb 11, 2011

    I have playdough w scissors. Roll, roll, roll the snake roll him big and long. Snip, Snip, Snip the snake now he's very small.

    For 3's holding the scissors with the thumb up is for some reason totally difficult. Just have a lot of things to cut available and do a lot of cutting yourself. They will pick it up, and when THEY choose to work on it - the development comes much, much faster.

    I agree all of those fine motor centers described above are almost more where the 3's need to me anyway in my opinion. It isn't that they have low motor skills it is that they are 3. Some threes really get it....but in the other post you described them is very ......large motor inclined. Pardon the term.....boyish.

    Old greeting cards, wall paper, photos from National Geographic of animals (be careful of what is on the otherside). Car and truck mags...still be careful.

    They will get it.
     
  9. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    True and they truly don't need small motor skills for writing for another 2 years. Lots of time to develop. = )
     
  10. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Feb 11, 2011

    I don't use worksheets, but there are a million other things you can do.

    Yesterday I put pom poms in a tub with berry baskets. The kids picked up the pom poms with chop sticks with those "cheater" things you can get to connect them together when they are learning.

    Foam shapes (depending on theme or whatever). Put numerals on them and kids put that many clothespins on them. Very difficult for some at first. They also clothespin their name when they come in for fine motor and name recognition practice. Hang a line and have kids hang whatever on it.

    Tongs with cotton balls, packing popcorn, small balls, whatever.

    Tweezers to pick things up to sort and count.

    Spray bottles when they are outside to play with or water the plants.

    Hole punches, hammers, screwdrivers, knives for spreading or cutting, balloons filled with flour, seeds, rice, water, etc. to squeeze for sensory play, gardening, sponges in the water table, crumple and tear paper, blocks and manipulatives, pretty much any craft, pretty much any cooking project, making playdough or gloop, playing with those things or pud.......

    IMO they can have so much more enriching and engaging experiences to help improve skills than a worksheet......but if you HAVE to www.makelearning.fun is a great site.
     
  11. sparksa

    sparksa Rookie

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    Feb 11, 2011

    During my student teaching experience, my cooperating teacher and I set up some pretty fun fine motor stations. Here are some that I remember vividly:

    Shaving Cream -- We sprayed multiple cans of it on a large table. The children could create all sorts of stuff with it (snowmen was popular, buildings, car, people, etc). Of course, setting firm limits with it and checking for understanding was essential, but the kids handled it quite well. Of course, some kids chose to make letters and "words", but there's definitely no harm in that!

    Magnets -- All shapes, sorts, and colors of magnets and several large cooking sheets. Students could invent spellings with letter magnets, some created cities.

    Peg Boards -- After a lesson on patterns, we pulled out the peg boards for one of our fine motor stations. We asked the children to see if they could make a pattern with them. They loved exploring all the ways to make a pattern with those square peg boards. The ESPECIALLY loved realizing that you could make diagonal patterns!
     
  12. TeacherApr

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    I agree. In Preschool, I feel it's developmentally inappropriate to be using worksheets all the time. Coloring every once in awhile is ok but those little ones need to explore and manipulate.
     
  13. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

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    Feb 11, 2011

    I'm not looking to do worksheets "all the time." I'm sorry if that's what it sounded like.

    What I'm doing is 10-15 minutes of a hands-on activity, like the wonderful examples given (thanks), and those given by our occupational therapist.

    After that I just want to do a short, 1-2 minute cutting or tracing activity. Thanks for the links.

    These aren't the 3's I'm doing this for- they are doing just fine developmentally in this area. I have a small group of 4's (and repeating 5's) who do need a lot of extra support-- when these small motor activities are provided as choices during free play, these kids choose not to do them, or only do them for a short period of time because they get frustrated.

    Keep the specific ideas coming, I especially like the straw one!
     
  14. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Feb 11, 2011

    Lite Brites are great.
     
  15. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Feb 11, 2011

    I apologize for thinking it was the 3's you were referring to. Sounds like your plan of doing what the OT says is a good one.....teamwork always is a plus.

    I do think that some of the other mulitude of tasks for fine motor on your shelves would benifit the children who need support. Then they would have many, many chances to pick up the skills and the muscles would be getting a huge workout all half day long.

    I do tend to assume that when the children are having a developmental challenge it helps when the items from the prior stage are available. A 4 year old is a 4 year old, plus what they need from the 3 year old stage, plus what they need from the 2 year old stage, plus what they need from the 1 year old stage. See?

    Glad you found your links.
     
  16. TeacherApr

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    i apologize too for my misunderstanding.

    Patience, patience, patience with those little ones = ) Do as much as you can with them and if they get frustrated give them a break. Try not to push but try again later.
     
  17. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Feb 11, 2011

    And disquise how you try. Many times they are totally frustrated. Especially I would imagine if they have had a visit with a special, worked on the skill with your regular group, have had a second or two to try the OT tricks and then see it again in a small group...in a half day. Some of the things that have been mentioned will disquise the fact you are working on the same skill.

    All of the activities given are totally valid, alone or in conjuction with each other and are considered absolutely developmentally appropriate for the age.
     
  18. Miller59

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    Feb 11, 2011

    Snack time is another place to work on fine motor -- spreading peanut butter, cream cheese, jam, using tongs to serve almost anything, self serving juice or water from a small pitcher. Small legos or other building blocks that snap together are a great tool for fine motor skills.

    I use "You give it a try and see what you can do." alot. Kids with low tone tend to assume they can't do much. And I bet that they take so long to do things that parents tend to jump in to help rather than give the time for the kids to do for themselves. Things like putting on their own shoes or learning to zip a coat -- these are hard things when your hands don't work well. I have 2 with very low muscle tone in general and am always looking for ways to bump them up.

    They are all very motivated to master the tape dispenser, stapler, and hole punch.
     
  19. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

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    Parents jumping in, yep! And also my aide, who is starting to drive me a little crazy. I've talked to her so many times about why we should let the kids do things for themselves, but I think she just can't stand not doing things for them.

    Yesterday the class was cutting out paper tiles and gluing them on paper. I left the room for a minute, and when I came back my aide was sitting next to my lowest fine-motor kid, had already cut out all his tiles for him and was putting glue on the tiles so that all he needed to do was stick them on.

    I told her that he really needed the practice, so she stopped, but looked hurt. That afternoon, she was "helping" the 3's the same way. I didn't even say anything because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to hide my irritation by that point. Ugh.

    Sorry, needed to vent on that one!

    But again, all these suggestions are much appreciated!
     
  20. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Hmmmmm, I am wondering, if your aide were to have a pom pom bowl and her own pair of chop sticks (w/attachment or tongs, or clothpin, or strawberry huller), and there was a mutual ice cube tray in the middle. She could be kept quite busy modeling how to move the pom poms. Then hand the other child a matching tool to grab the pom poms and ..........you may just have yourself a way to keep the aide out of your hair and work on fine motor at the same time!
     
  21. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Feb 12, 2011

    You need to talk with that aid. She is not helping you. Just explain to her why you are doing the activity. If she can't understand, she needs to leave. Sorry, but I do get on my high horse about DAP. I worked in Head Start and had to explain to parent volunteers to allow the children to dish up their own food. I had to explain to the same parents every week.

    The ideas are wonderful.
     
  22. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    I don't have an aide to contend with -- but I tell you sometimes it is SO hard to wait while they struggle to get their shoes on! To stay upright, to use 2 hands together, to get their foot in the shoe all at the SAME TIME! It's a fine line between helping them gain skills and not letting them, or me, get too frustrated.

    One other thing -- cutting for the sake of cutting, or for their own goals, is just as useful as cutting along a line or for a finished product. We have a lot of open art -- using a variety of materials to create what ever. They all love this.
     
  23. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Dollar store items:

    *shower curtain rings to connect and make patterns or use two colors to show how many ways to make a number
    *velcro straps for bundling cords, these come in a wide variety of colors
    *seasonal small containers to put small items in and close up
    *piggy bank with small slit to put poker chips in
    *jumbo paper clips to slide onto paper
    *small jewelry boxes to wrap with paper and tape
    *rubber hair bands to slide over blocks (difficult)
    *clothespins to place on cans or around cardboard
    *Tiddly winks
    *wind-up toys
    *paddle ball game
    *spinner toys
    *index cards and envelopes (kids love to send each other letters)
     
  24. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Feb 12, 2011

    Can I ask.....were you directed to do the fine motor work in the small group for which you shooting? Just asking...please don't read frustration or sass into the comment.

    Just one more note....for the shoe putting on skill. During the stages that make balance during shoe putting on difficult I have the children place their shoes against the wall, or a chair in a perfect situation, in the proper orientation to themselves. My children are young so we usually have our hands on the chair seat, shoes lined up and open right at their feet. This alleviates the problem of completing all the work only to find out that teacher says you have them on the wrong feet and have to start again. Then the child picks up a foot and stands into the shoe on that foots side. Gravity helps place the shoe on for the most part although there is sometimes a problem with that Achille's Tendon thing on the back of the shoe.

    This and the coat flip have really helped the need to jump in. Many of my parents can actually even give it a shot.
     
  25. puff5655

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    Blue, I have talked to her SO many times and have explained the 'why' of it all. It seems she thinks letting them struggle is just mean. She has so many connections (relatives on the school board), there's no way she would be fired.

    She seldom shows up on Mondays, and once this year when she did bus duty, she let a child off without checking to see if a parent was home, because she was scared of the dog, and they drove off. Turns out the door was locked, and the child wandered around for over an hour in subzero temperatures before somebody found him and brought him to the clinic to be treated for frostbite. Anywhere else, she would be fired the same day! Here, she just got "talked to" by the principal. I think that's when I REALLY started getting frustrated with her. That is so unacceptable!

    But again, thank you for the great ideas!!!

    And yes, WaProvider, there is pressure on me to put in place some small group or 1:1 interventions for these low kids.
     
  26. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Ok, I figured. Next question.....does the pressure Specify what you will do during this time? Or does it merely specify what will be accomplished through the use of this time?
     
  27. puff5655

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    I'm expected to follow the activities suggested by the OT. I know the kids will get bored of the short list though.
     
  28. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Awwwwww, I was really hoping you were going to say that you had a list of outcomes (their motor will improve by x amount). Then you could totally do something more DAP to work on the gap.

    Did you list the full "short list" in your first post? Nothing hidden and vague?
     
  29. puff5655

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    In my original post I mentioned the cutting and tracing activities. Besides that, on the list there are things like "unscrew bottle caps" and "move items with tongs between bowls." Things that are DAP.

    I CAN do other things. As long as it is in small group and working on these specific skills. I just have to include these activities in there. But when we have special activities, like cornstarch and water, that the whole class is doing, I am just marking down that they ARE receiving their minimum 15 minutes in fine motor work, because they are!
     
  30. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Good job! That just what I was hoping you were going to say.

    If I had a magic wand I would use the tong activities (but reworked for each holiday and mood change) and have the aide seated at the table with her own set. It keeps her hands of the scissors and get the kids some lower stress way to work on their items. If you switch the group to a scissor activity (because scissors aren't evil, and using them sometimes is great!) then make something else time consuming for her to do. But if she is holding the child's tongs she can't be holding hers. I doubt she is the ambidextrous! Hope this gets her out of your hair!
     
  31. puff5655

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    Thanks!
     

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