Getting Ready for Kindergarten: Fine Motor Skills

Helping your preschooler to develop and strengthen fine motor skills is an important step in kindergarten preparation. What are fine motor skills? These are skills that require coordination of the small muscles in the hands and fingers. They lay the foundation for writing, cutting, manipulating objects, and creating detailed drawings and diagrams. The best way to help your preschooler develop these skills is through play in a relaxed environment. The most benefit comes from allowing children to explore the suggested activities at their own pace and to choose the ones that they find most enjoyable. 


Preschool Activities: 

Give your preschooler some string, twine, or fishing line (knotted at one end) and have her string beads, cereal loops, or different types of macaroni. Encourage her to explore any ideas that emerge with respect to making up designs, patterns, or stories during activity. Ask if she can think of other objects to string from inside the house or in the yard. Encourage the use of a hole punch to create holes in paper cut-outs, leaves, or other easily cut items. 

Hole Punch Art

Preschool Activities: 

What you need:
Craft paper, black marker, toothpick or golf tee, carpet square.

Draw a large simple shape on the craft paper. Talk about the shape and let children trace along the shape with the toothpick or the golf tee. Provide children with a carpet square. Place the paper with the shape on top of the carpet and let children use a toothpick, or smaller children use golf tee, to punch holes all along the outline of the shape. After the children punched holes all along the shape turn the paper over. Explain that Braille is a series of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who are blind. Let children feel the shape with their fingers with closed eyes. Carefully remove the shape. Let children decorate the shape with wiggly eyes, etc.

Variation: Shape Monsters

Print Shape Monsters printables on heavy printing paper or spray glue on craft paper. Let children color the monster shapes. Place on carpet square and punch holes all along the outline of the shape. 

Preschool Activities: 

Free Shape Monster printables:

Visit Learn With Play At Home for another great hole punch art project.


Alphabet Lacing Cards from
Recycled Styrofoam Meat Tray Lacing Craft from Creative Jewish Mom

Provide your child with a preschooler-appropriate lacing needle (these can be found in most craft stores). Knot yarn or a shoelace at the end of the needle and show your preschooler how to move the needle in a forward-moving up and down pattern through the holes in a lacing card or square of burlap fabric. As he begins to achieve mastery with lacing, he will most likely begin to ask questions about making knots and tying. Allow lots of time for low pressure, child-directed practice.

Using Scissors

Preschool Activities: 

Show your preschooler how to use a pair of scissors safely and effectively and provide lots of appropriate materials for practice. (Children’s scissors are available in most craft stores for younger children.) Your preschooler can cut paper for collages, pictures from newspaper advertisements, and segments from rolled strands of playdough. As your preschooler’s scissor-skills develop, you can challenge her by drawing different types of lines to cut along. Your preschooler may decide to draw her own lines and shapes for cutting practice as well. 

View our Scissors Skills Workbook Ebook with 27 motivating and fun, reproducible worksheets and craft ideas for children ages 4-6. The worksheets feature the Lily and EarTwiggle characters and fun exercises for children to practice their scissor and fine motor skills. Now only $2.99! Read more...


Provide your preschooler with tools, such as ice-cube tongs, measuring spoons, tweezers and chopsticks, which can be used to move materials from one small container to another. Choose containers that are varied and interesting such as tea cups, egg cups, decorative bowls, flower vases, and ramekins. There are all sorts of transfer materials to choose from such as beads, beans, raisins, cereal pieces, seeds, small rocks, sand, water etc. Your preschooler can also build fine motor skills by using his fingers to glue these types of small objects to paper plates and sheets of cardboard.  

Pom Poms & Chopsticks Activity from Playfullylearning


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