One of the most important ways we can help our children while playing with them is through super simple activities that develop their fine motor skills. Young children need to be able to hold and use scissors, pencils, and other items before using them in a classroom context—after all, they can’t be expected to write if they haven’t developed strength in their hands and fingers. Here are a few spring-themed activities for young children that are fun, easy to set up, and promote a whole range of skills. They’re creative, open ended, and incorporate sensory play too!
1. Easter Egg Mobile
Use your plastic Easter eggs to make back play and tummy time more fun for your little! This is great for newborns up until about 6 months old, but you may find your older baby likes it as well. All you need is string, Easter eggs, and somewhere from which you can hang them, like a play gym.
This type of play is a great way to teach cause and effect (when youkick or touch the egg it moves), and instill fine motor skills like grabbing and reaching. Most plastic eggs have small holes in them: just thread string through the holes and tie it off, then tie the string to your play gym.
2. Cardboard Rainbows
The best part about this activity is that there is no right way or wrong way; no two rainbows will look alike. This kind of open ended art activity where children can just create is great! Just cut out a rainbow shape from cardboard, provide them with glue, and allow their imaginations to run wild.
They can practice their fine motor skills by spreading glue on the rainbow, then placing their individual pieces of paper! Kids can get involved in the set up by shredding the paper with you: two activities in one— a win win!
3. Shaving Cream Colors
Try using liquid watercolors on cotton balls or pads for a fun sensory experience. This activity can get messy, so we suggest doing it outside or in a closed off space. Place the cotton pads in a tray, dish, or bowl, then allow your kids to place watered down paints on them and watch the spreading color action.
We suggest using pipettes to place the color, for a more controlled pour as well as for development of fine motor skills. Additionally, you can add shaving cream for even more fluffy fun! The best part? It’s a five minute setup.
4. Color Matching
This activity uses washi tape and magnetic chips, but it can easily be modified to use whatever materials you have on hand. You could just as easily draw or paint the lines, and use Pom Poms, beads, or buttons instead! This activity combines color-matching with fine motor development.
Picking up the chip and placing it in a line gets those little fingers working hard! Children begin to differentiate colors around 18 months, so we recommend this activity for around that age. All children are different and learn at their own speed though! Activities like this are a great way to begin and practice color recognition!
5. Easter Egg Scissor Skills
Grab a stack of colorful construction paper and make these easy DIY cutting cards! This is a great and festive way to practice scissor skills with your toddlers and preschoolers. Simply cut an egg shape in a stack of construction paper, so you can cut several at once and save time.
Then, draw some Easter egg designs that your little one can use to practice cutting on a variety of line types. You can also incorporate different colors, or even arrows to teach them to cut in certain directions. They’ll be having fun using scissors, while also working on fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
6. Easter Pom Pom Push
The day after pizza night is the perfect opportunity to try out this activity. A pompom push is just some holes in a box your child can push pom poms into! You simply draw on the box, cut holes big enough for a pompom and invite your child to push them in. So simple but so fun!
This craft doesn’t need to be Easter themed: you can change up the drawings to suit the season or even your mood. It develops fine motor skill and finger dexterity by having your little ones place an item into a small hole. You can play both color matching and speed games with this activity.
Fine motor skills involve coordinated efforts of the brain and muscles. There are tons of ways to strengthen these muscles and practice coordination using simple everyday materials you can find around your house! We suggest that you not only try some of these ideas out, but use them as a launching pad for even more creative activities in the future.