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Fine motor skills are so crucial for the child to learn to write. Maria Montessori also pointed out that the development of fine motor is directly connected to the development of the brain. Many fine motor activities are practical and represent work that is usually done in real life.
“When there is motor and physical activity, you can see a more important kind of education, a kind of education that takes the force of life into account. This education is not driven by its own wisdom, but by another superior wisdom that lays down the law that, if we do not take the vital force into account, we miss the best part of education. ” Maria Montessori
“Summing up, we may say that the two mechanical factors of writing are resolved into two independent exercises, that is, drawing, which gives the hand the ability to handle the writing instrument, and touch the letters of the alphabet, which serves to establish a motor memory along with a visual memory of the letters. ” Maria Montessori The Discovery of the Child
“When we give the child the possibility to fix his attention in an orderly fashion upon some objects which also permit a motor exercise, we give such clearness to the mind of the child. This clearness gives a new fascination and a new impulse, a new mode of observation. ” Maria Montessori The Montessori Approach to Music
This is the reason why it is quite simple for parents and teachers to create practical fine motor learning experiences – most of the time they use objects and things found at home and everyday items. Also, playing with blocks and playdough and plasticine activities, painting, and drawing help children exercise their finger muscles.
Fine Motor activities can be divided into several different types. Let’s have a look at some examples of matching, grading, playing instruments, and sorting. Simple grains, buttons, small manipulatives like beads, and marbles will do a great job. These types of activities always must be done with adults’ supervision as they can become a choking hazard.
It is always important to keep in mind that fine motor activities often contain small parts or rounded objects. Such activities should never be offered to young children under the age of 3.
Spooning and transferring are always loved by children. You often can spot gorgeous ceramic, wooden bowls and plates, small baskets, and jewelry boxes together with chopsticks and beautiful spoons used to make these activities more attractive. Generally, you can purchase many of these items in thrift shops and markets. Water fine motor exploration is also a lot of fun for kids.
In addition, the metal insets, stencils, puzzle piece tracing, and art activities for kids – are a few more examples of different ways to develop and build fine motor skills.
Here are some examples of fine motor exercises you may like to try in your classroom and at home.
Peg activities with different color pegs are perfect for the youngest learners aged 2 and up for learning colors and simple patterns.
Puzzles with little knobs are perfect for preparing little fingers for holding a pencil.
Fine motor activities can be incorporated into sensory play with colored sand on the acrylic mirror. Adding figurine animals creates an additional opportunity to learn new vocabulary.
Kinesthetic sand is another form of sensory play that helps develop muscle on little fingers. It is a great motivator for children to develop habits of long uninterrupted independent play.
Geoboards are loved by children aged 5-7. They learn to create patterns and build shapes using rubber bands.
Painting is not just an effective rewriting activity, it is also great for children’s mental health and self-expression. It may often get neglected as it can be quite a messy exercise. Yet it is a great opportunity to teach children to take care and clean after they finish painting.
Children aged 4 and up may enjoy sewing in a small group under patient guidance. It is a perfect activity for little fingers and for practicing extended concentration.
Cooking and food prep train little fingers and encourage children to exercise their hand-eye coordination and creativity and boost self-esteem.
Play dough and clay invitation to play is a wonderfully relaxing activity children are happy to do daily. They can draw their inspiration from their surroundings or from nature. Clay creations can be hardened and decorated with small parts. They make beautiful keepsakes.
We use drawing with young children for their self-expression and self-regulation before they learn to write. It’s a great outlet for their emotions and a mirror to the child’s inner world.
Large screws and bolts are especially exciting for boys. These are great tools to help them exercise their wrists and hand-eye coordination.
Every classroom and house has items that can be easily adapted to serve this goal of creating fine motor activities for young children.
Building blocks help children develop their patience and coordination, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
Children aged 5 and up may enjoy creating mosaics and tweezers to help them strengthen their fingers and hand-eye coordination.
Fine motor free and paid printables and Resources
South America Preschool Hands-on Activities
South America Montessori-inspired printable set filled with hands-on skill reinforcement activities for preschool and kindergarten students – fine motor, cutting, push pinning, tracing.
Australia / Oceania Preschool Hands-on Activities
Australia/Oceania Montessori-inspired printable set filled with hands-on skill reinforcement activities for preschool and kindergarten students – fine motor, cutting, push pinning, tracing. Please note whist this resource contains flags, map printables, and images of traditional outfits of the whole continent of Oceania, the animals, and photographic cards mainly present the country of Australia.
Insects and Crawling Creatures - Fine Motor, Cutting, Pin Poking, Coloring
Insects and Crawling Creatures fine motor learning activities are a perfect addition to Spring and Summer Units. Children often get fascinated with little bugs and insects they can spot every day outdoors during the warm spring and summer seasons. This brings a perfect opportunity to engage their little fingers to develop fine motor and exercise finger muscles.
Pin Poking - Fine Motor Skills
Thirty-two cards for fine motor exercise to develop the muscles necessary for the student’s correct pencil grip. These will help your students to prepare for writing and develop necessary concentration skills.
Invite your student to pin poke a shape and trace or pin poke the corresponding label.
Loose Parts and Pattern Pages
The other day we used some loose parts and our free printable alphabet pages to practice some of the letters Noah has trouble remembering.
We had so much fun with that simple loose parts activity that I decided to make some pattern pages to play with too.
Eye Dropper Activity Tray
Eye droppers are fabulous tools for kids. They work the small muscles in their hands, which they need to develop for writing, plus you can do so many fun things with them!
My ten year old helped me set up a surprise for her little brother and together we created this fun eye dropper activity tray.
How to Teach Kids to Sew Using Burlap and Yarn
Learning how to sew on burlap is a great sewing lesson for beginners. One of my favorite activities as a child was sewing burlap with yarn. I loved practicing embroidery stitches and making elaborate pictures that I cherished for years.
DIY Learning Activities For Toddlers
Coin activity for preschoolers
Hands-on Montessori Homeschool Activities for a 5-year old.
Activities for preparation for writing – process art activity creating patterns and prints on the sand tray with a bamboo stick and natural loose parts.
DIY Africa Map and Pin Flags - Hands-on Geography Activity
There are amazing non-fiction works of literature available on Africa that help to lay a wonderful background for learning about all the different aspects of the continent. With interactive and tactile activities children absorb all the fascinating facts and gain deep Geographical knowledge about the continent whilst working on enhancing their concentration skills, literacy, numeracy, and fine motor skills.
Fall Activities For Kids
One of the great advantages for children who grow up in Montessori inspired environment – is exposure to real-life materials and tools. The secret is to allow children the opportunity and freedom to experience the benefits of simple everyday tasks we, adults do so effortlessly, in a safe environment without being rushed.
Pin Poking Activities + Free Printables.
Pushpin (or pin poking) activity is one of the popular fine motor activities in the Montessori classroom. I would like to share with you different ways to use pins and pin poking which greatly benefit the child’s development. You will find that pins are often used in activities for different purposes.
Paper Plate Heart Sewing Craft - Red Ted Art - Make crafting with kids easy & fun
This sewing craft makes a perfect Valentine's Crafts for Preschoolers – not only does it look pretty, is EASY, but also is great for fine motor skills development. You can’t really “go wrong – the kids can work on this sewing craft whichever way they want. And it is a great introduction to sewing skills for young kids.
Free Sandbox Writing Cards for Pre-Writing
Walking by the Way has a creative set of free sandbox writing cards for pre-writing available for you to download. Simply print the cards, set up a small sandbox area, and have your child “write” in the sand.
Fine Motor and Sorting~Seed Tray
During our preschool seed theme I put together a seed tray for the kids to explore. They each used the tray in different ways, and it gave us a lot of opportunities to practice fine motor skills, engage in math activities, and discuss the properties of seeds.
DIY Learning Hands-On Activities for 3-Year-Olds
It's very easy to set up fun and inviting activities to help children foster their fine motor movement, for example like this transferring activity with items that are readily available.
6 Simple & Effective Fine Motor Skills Activities with Water
Most school programs offer fine motor skills development, but there are also a wealth of simple steps parents and caregivers can take at home to help enhance these skills. Here are five fun, developmentally appropriate ideas to encourage these skills using basic household supplies and water.
Christmas Fine Motor Craft
I picked these two simple, yet beautiful and exciting activities to make handmade Christmas ornaments that can be a sweet present for the child to give.
Montessori inspired ideas for infant/toddler playgroup.
Great fine motor exercise that gets wrists and muscles in little hands working.
Montessori Fine Motor Skills Toys for 3 4 5 6 Year Old
Kids tool set derives from the classic Montessori concept to give children free reign through providing children with child-sized versions of household items will allow children to fully engage in their imaginative imitation of daily life and build real life skills as well.
Wooden Geoboard Mathematical Manipulative Material Array Block Geo Board
Fine Motor Skills Toys for Early Education and Sorting Counting
Sorting and matching: let your kids to use tweezers and scissor clips to put 120 colored plush balls into sorting bowl of matching colors; Sorting bowls and plush balls have 4 colors, which are red, yellow, green and blue for Age Over 5
Wooden Lacing Beads 125 Pieces, Fine Motor Skills Toys for 3 Year Old
This is a toddler beads and string threading toy. Your purchase includes 120 wood string beads for toddlers approximately 1 inch in diameter, with a 3/8 inch lacing hole. Lacing beads come in 6 bright colors and 5 shapes: spheres, cubes, cylinders, triangular prisms, and hexagonal prisms. Also includes four, 36-inch plastic tipped laces for stringing the beads and one durable plastic storage container.
Hooks Plastic Chain Links - Counting & Linking Activity Kit
Give children a fun-filled way to practice counting & learn to visualize quantities…with cute, numbered elephants kids can’t resist!
Wooden Magnetic Fishing Game, Fine Motor Skill Toy ABC Alphabet Color Sorting Puzzle
This simple and adorable fishing game offers hours of fun for children. It comes with 2 Wooden Magnetic Fishing Poles, 1 Wooden Sorting Box, 26 PCS Wooden fish. It is not only a fun activity for your little kids, but also is a great toy for learning the alphabet, color recognition!
Children's Toys for 3 Years Old, Montessori Board, Fine Motor
Start building smart minds with the right educational toys. The bright and interactive toy will enhance hand dexterity, can inspire children's imagination, as well as promote their physical and intellectual development, color recognition, and fine motor skills while engaging little minds.
Rainbow Counting Bears (101 Piece Set)
The bears are designed to teach color recognition, sorting, fine motor skills, math, hand-eye coordination and numbers. They work great with early childhood STEM and Montessori programs.
Toddler Educational & Musical Percussion for Kids & Children Instruments Set
Our musical percussion instrument bundle includes not just 1 or 2 but 21 wonderful music instrument toys. Each set comes with 1 tambourine, 2 shaker eggs, 2 ger castanets, 2 sand eggs, 1 hand bell, 1 pair of maracas, wrist bells, 2 claves, 2 fin1 large and 1 small sleigh bell, 1 handle castanet and 1 triangle with a striker.
Water Beads with Fine Motor Skills Toy Set Non-Toxic Water Sensory Toy
We have included 10 sturdy fine motor tool along with these 6 oz beads that in 10 colors to further aid in the sensory experience.Contains 6 different tweezers, 1 spoon, 1 scoop and a cup.kids will be able to clasp, and clamp beads with the play tweezer/scooping tools.
Loose Parts Play Materials Wooden Rainbow Stacking Toy for Toddlers
Creative rainbow wooden toys are made of natural wood to improve the durability, every loose parts are produced in strict accordance with the international standards，Nontoxic and tasteless, Smooth edge keeps your child play safety.
Wooden Sensory Bin Tools, 1 Wooden Box + 11 Sensory Tools for Toddlers & Preschool Children
Include a wooden sensory bin for your children to store 11 sensory wooden toys, Kids can pour grains, beans, oats, rice, rocks, sand and other particles in this wooden box, and use the sensory bin tools to pouring, transferring, picking and stacking, Practice use the kitchen tools, Bring the joy of real life to children.
Magnetic Letters Practicing Board, Magnets Tracing ABC Alphabet Board
Peg Board Set Toys-Montessori Occupational Therapy Fine Motor Skills Toy
Board Set can be used to teach as learning resources , Montessori materials, preschool toys or learning toys for early childhood development.
Wooden Mosaic Puzzle
Wooden pattern blocks come with 370 x wooden blocks (8 different colors),1 x wooden board, 1 x drawstring bags, and 1 x pattern book. Get all the blocks back together, spell out a variety of different patterns through your imagination. Such as a unicorn, elephant, home, flower, butterfly, words, mathematical geometry, etc. Even letters of the A to Z and also numbers of the 1 to 10.
Wooden Montessori Puzzles, Picasso Art Puzzle Play Set
A piece of paper containing the artist's drawings, the wooden Montessori puzzle "Pablo Picasso" will help the child become an artist (the parts won't stick together, they won't stick together, making it easier for the child to spell out a new avatar )
Puzzle set contains: 26 wooden parts (1 face, 6 eyes, 6 ears, 6 nose, 6 mouth, 2 eyebrows)
Wooden Puzzles for Toddlers 1-3 – 3 Montessori Wood Toy for Kids Ages 2-4
Designed by teachers and moms for educational insights our puzzles have colorful pictures under each jig;Easy toddler matching game to learn shapes colors, develop eye-hand coordination, fine motor and problem-solving skills.
Toddler Puzzles for Kids Ages 2-4 in a Bag
Our wooden puzzles stand out as early development & activity toys due to fun shapes, detailed images, natural colors & words; they develop eye-hand coordination, fine motor and problem-solving skills, memory of your kids
MORE Free Printables From Montessori Nature
- Free Resource Library
- Signs of Spring in Nature
- Parts of a Plant Sorting
- Animals of Continents Sort Editable Labels
- Letter A Student Activity Page Phonics Free Language Printable
- Letter D Student Activity Page Phonics Free Language Printable
- Letter E Student Activity Page Phonics Free Language Printable
- Letter F Student Activity Page Phonics Free Language Printable
- Letter G Student Activity Page Phonics Free Language Printable
- Letter B Student Activity Page Phonics Free Language Printable
- Letter C Student Activity Page Phonics Free Language Printable
- Letter H Student Activity Page Phonics Free Language Printable
- Letter i Student Activity Page Phonics Free Language Printable
- Letter J Student Activity Page Phonics Free Language Printable
- Letter K Student Activity Page Phonics Free Language Printable
- Letter L Student Activity Page Phonics Free Language Printable
- Letter M Student Activity Page Phonics Free Language Printable
- Made By Nature Made By Humans Sorting
- My Word Of The Year New Year Free Printable
- Physical And Chemical Changes Pairing Fine Motor With Pegs
- Christmas Playdough Mats
- Christmas 3 Part Cards
- Christmas Matching Fine Motor With Pegs
- 10 Deciduous Trees And 10 Coniferous Trees Sorting Cards
- Fall Playdough Mats
- Christmas in Australia
- Free DIY Art Puzzles Coloring Pages Printables – Silent Night by Viggo Johansen
- Signs of Winter
- Matching Fine Motor With Pegs The Nutcracker Free Christmas printable
- Free DIY Puzzles And Coloring Pages – Raphael The Sistine Madonna
- Fall Leaf Shapes Match Up With Pegs
- Animal Hibernation & Torpor Cards
- 10 Farm Cards And 10 Forest Sorting Cards
- Pairing Fine Motor With Pegs – Thankful Animals
- Types Of Apples
- Fall Prewriting Practice – Free Fine Motor Printable
- Free DIY Puzzles And Coloring Pages – Paul Cezanne Still Life Painting Curtain, Jug And Fruit Bowl
- Fall Pin Punching And Tracing Cards
- Fall Match Up Initial Sounds With Pegs
- Fall Match Up Rhyming Words With Pegs
- Fall Leaves And Fall Flowers
- Fall Match Up Opposites With Pegs
- 10 Types Of Vertebrates And 10 Types Of Invertebrates Fall Printable
- 10 Types of Insects and 10 Types of Flowers Sort
- Fall Match Up With Pegs
- Types Of Exotic Apples 3-Part Cards, Posters, Student Booklet
- 10 Types Of Edible And 10 Types Of Poisonous Mushrooms
- Signs Of Fall – Free Printables, Posters, Cards, Student Booklets
- Woodland Animals Poster Match Up Cards
- 10 Types Of Mammals And 10 Types Of Birds In Autumn
- Color, Cut Out, Build, And Label The Ant
- Color, Cut Out, Build, And Label The Fish
- Gemstones 3 Part Cards
- Wild Animal Families Puzzles And Cards
- Forest Matching Cards – Free Nature Printable
- Beach Poster, Match Up Cards – Free Printables
- Whale Size Comparison Poster, Match Up Cards
- DIY Puzzles And Coloring Pages – Vincent Van Gogh Vase With Twelve Sunflowers
- 10 Types Of Vertebrates And 10 Types Of Invertebrates
- Coral Reef Animals Poster, Match Up Cards
- 10 Types Of Terrestrial Mammals And 10 Types Of Marine Mammals – Free Summer Printable
- 10 Types Of Butterflies And 10 Types Of Ladybugs – Free Sorting Printable
- Skip Counting Student Helper Posters And Worksheets s
- Number Tracing And Formation Activity
- Sums With Bead Bars – Clip Cards And Worksheets With Teen Numbers
- Addition Clip Cards
- Number Bonds – Addition With Bead Bars Sums Of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, And 10
- Place Value Mats, Task Cards, And Tracing Worksheets
- Gemstones – Posters And Matching Cards
- Nature Journal
- Valentine’s Day Coloring
- Geoboard Task Cards
- Free One Week Planner For Preschool Children With Low Prep Hands-On Activities
- Free Montessori Baby And Toddler Printable Materials
- DIY Winter Puzzles And Art Activities – Painting “The Starry Night” By Vincent Van Gogh
- Winter Animals
- Arctic Animals
- DIY Winter Puzzles And Art Activities – Painting “Maslenitsa” By Boris Kustodiev
- Butterflies And Moths Sort
- Types Of Flowers Match Up
- Silent E Learning To Read Cards
- Addition And Subtraction Cards – Single Digits
- Animals In Spring – Activities, Resources, And Free Printables
- Multiplication Charts
- Lined Writing Paper Handwriting Practice
- Nocturnal And Diurnal Animals Sort
- Viviparous And Oviparous Animals Sort
- Mothers And Their Young Animals Sort
- Constellations And Planets Sort
- Farm Animal Families Puzzles
- The Earth Goes Around The Sun – Free Geography Printable
- Tulip Life Cycle And Parts Of A Tulip
5 thoughts on “Montessori Fine Motor Activities and Free Printables”
So many resources! Thanks for all the ideas and for connecting so many Montessori folks!
Great activities here.
Thank you so much for including a link to my Very Hungry Caterpillar post (real leaf threading)!
– Rachel (",)
There are great Montessori bloggers out there..
Your ideas are very inspirational!
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