Fine motor activities build skills that your little learner needs. Just because they’re “educational” doesn’t mean they aren’t fun too. Think of this summer fine motor idea as fun-ctional. I know, I know, bad pun. But, it’s also true.
Summer Fine Motor Fun
So your kiddo wants to play outside. And you want her to get out and get active. At the very least you want her to pause the tablet and notice that there’s a great wide world just slightly above the screen-line.
This activity takes your child outdoors — where she can get messy. Let’s face it, flinging paint around the living room isn’t always practical. With the warm weather comes the chance to head outdoors, do some paint printing and use the hose to wash everything and everyone down.
Painting in itself is a fabulous fine motor activity. Your child can practice her eye-hand coordination and work on the grip that she uses to write with. But you don’t always have to use paintbrushes. Fine motor activities can include a variety of ways to hold and move objects. And that’s what this one does.
Your child can bend pipe cleaners, turning them into printing tools. Use the summertime theme and ask your child to paint print bold yellow suns, colorful flowers or anything else that has to do with the season. Or she can create an abstract work that incorporates some of summer’s plant life. As she paints, have her gather fallen flower heads, petals, leaves or grass blades to paint with too.
Learning and Development
- Fine motor skills- Eye-hand coordination, grip
- Science- The summer season, plants
- Color recognition and identification
- Problem-solving- Find a way to paint without a brush
- Tempera paints
- Cardboard- Use scrap board from an old box
- Card stock paper or poster board
- Pipe cleaners
- Take everything outside. Pour the paint on the cardboard, using it as a palette.
- Bend the pipe cleaners. Your child can twist them into coils and create shapes.
- Dip the pipe cleaner into the paint.
- Press the paint-covered pipe cleaner onto the paper. Your child can make summer shapes or anything else she wants.
- Gather a few natural materials. After all, you’re already outside.
- Dip the natural materials into the paint and press them onto the paper.
The fun doesn’t have to stop when the summer ends. Your child can try this fine motor activity any time of the year. Of course, your child can’t always use natural materials. In the winter there may not be much to try out. When this season comes around, don’t worry about gathering fallen leaves or any other plant items.
Stay indoors and paint print a snowy scene, snow people or snowflakes. In the fall your child can use autumn colors, such as red, orange and yellow. In the spring she can paint print blooming flowers or April showers.
Are you looking for more fine motor activities? Check out these ideas for toddlers and preschoolers!
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Erica is a mom, educator and parenting writer, with an MS in child development. When she’s not teaching, she’s busy creating kids’ activities for her blog Mini Monets and Mommies.