Friday, January 31, 2014

5 Fine Motor Activities for Under $5 & 5 Years Old (BLT)

            Hey folks! It's been awhile since I've done a Baby Learning Time post. I'm a big fan of fun sensory projects, but I thought I would focus on some ways to help with fine motor development for a change. (Although a lot of time the two can be interchangeable.)
            There are plenty of ways and reasons to work on fine motor skills with your children at home. Maybe you homeschool, or have a child with delays in this area, or perhaps you just want to help further strengthen your child's abilities. Regardless of your reasons, who doesn't like saving a buck? Doing learning activities at home doesn't have to be pricy. That's why I've compiled this list of 5 simple fine motor activities for under $5 (each) for children under 5!

Coloring: Not all kids like to color, but most do and it's a time honored classic. You can get a set of crayons for a few bucks (if that) and probably even some paper all for less than $5. Not only does coloring help with fine motor coordination, but also hand-eye coordination and, of course, creativity. Coloring pages are nice for helping older kids learn to have control over where they're coloring, but be sure to let them have free reign and draw whatever they like too sometimes.

The flash on my phone is a little bright. lol
Finger Painting: Finger painting is a fun sensory and fine motor activity and has pretty much the same benefits as coloring. Plus it poses a good opportunity to teach children about different colors as well. Other than buying finger paints, there are a plethora of homemade recipes on Pinterest and elsewhere on the Internet nowadays. Also, here is my other BLT post on Finger Painting.

Lacing: There are many cute lacing toys on the market these days, like from Melissa & Doug, but there's no need to spend the money on them if you aren't able or don't want to! I've seen some really cute ideas for homemade lacing activities on Pinterest, such as a snowman made with paper plates with holes punched around the outside for lacing. (Click HERE for an idea.) I've made plenty a cute winter project already this season, so I decided to forgo the cute snowman and use an empty tp roll. (Read: Myka's not old enough to really lace it, so I didn't feel like wasting my time on something cute. lol) Lacing is kind of like a more hands on version of connect the dots. It is also good for hand-eye coordination.

Sorting: Sorting objects can be helpful in a lot of growth and development departments. Other than fine motor, it can also be good for hand-eye coordination, learning colors, size differentiation, and other similarities and differences between objects. You can use just about anything you can think of for sorting activities. For example, gather up different colored objects and a box. Ask your child to find the red items and place them in the box. You get the idea. If you have children closer towards 5, you can try giving them a pair of tweezers and sort small objects that way. This is a popular home Montessori activity.


Water Beads: This is by far one of my favorite activities, fine motor or otherwise. At our house, water beads go hand in hand with sorting. Myka has an obsession with transferring these beads from one container to another. They are slippery, so that adds an extra challenge. You can find these at craft stores like Michael's for under $5. The ones that haven't been hydrated yet are cheaper than the pre-hydrated ones and you get a lot more. If you get colored ones, I highly suggest washing the dye off first because, well, that would just be an awful mess. You can read more about our water bead fun HERE.

Disclaimer: As usual, if you have a young child that likes to put everything in his/her mouth, please use common sense. Either watch them like a hawk while supervising these activities or choose appropriate alternatives. (Such as waiting until they are older or using all-natural, non-toxic materials, which is just a good idea anyways.) I am not responsible for any injuries or death in conjunction to these activities. Again, please use common sense. Thanks!

15 comments:

  1. Love the disclosure! These are great activities! My 12 month old will need to try the water beads

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    1. lol Can never be too careful, right? ;)

      That's about the time we let Myka start playing with them. I bet she would love them!

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  2. love the activities! she's so adorable, too! makes me really miss that stage (mine are all teenagers now)

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    1. I don't even want to think about teenage years. lol

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  3. my boys love coloring, and it makes the toddler feel like a "big boy" to color old school papers of the 5 year old while the 5 year old does homework <3

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  4. My tween nephew got a xploders (or something liek that) "gun" for christmas - they take water beads and are sort of like fake paintball guns combined with nerf guns? Anyway, one of the water beads fell and my 3 year old nephew picked it up and was SO intrigued by it - I really want to get him some water beads to play with.

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    1. I've never heard of such a thing, but it sounds like fun!

      They are really neat because they're a weird texture and all slippery. I like them because they're not messy too. ;)

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  5. Those water beads seam really neat. Thanks!

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  6. Aren't water beats dangerous for such a small child, she can swallow it can't she? Thanks for such a cute blog post. I loved the pictures! And yeah, I will too engage my child in such playful activities.

    Regards,
    Patria Jase

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Patria, and your concern! Myka is unusual in the sense that she doesn't put anything and everything in her mouth like most kids her age. Otherwise no, we wouldn't let her play with water beads. Plus, I sit there and play with them with her so she is being watched constantly. :)

      I babysat a little boy for awhile who is 5 months younger than my daughter. He is about the same age now as when we started letting Myka play with water beads and I wouldn't DREAM of letting him play with them because he IS one of those kids who puts everything in his mouth.

      Thank you again for your concern. :) You're website looks lovely. I will have to explore it more in just a bit!

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  7. Thank you for sharing with the Pintastic Pinteresting Party. You have now prompted me to think about what activities my 12 month old might enjoy!

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    1. Thanks, Sara! You might be surprised. :) And of course take necessary precautions. You know your child better than anyone. :)

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  8. I am featuring you on Pintastic Pinteresting Party! I love frugal ideas the keep little ones busy!

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    1. Wow! Thanks so much, Jill! I have really enjoyed your weekly link-up so far and reading all of the other great posts! :)

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