Fine Motor Fun Around the House

     It is already day 3 of our 5 days of blogging; I hope you are enjoying and learning from the series. My fine motor focus today is all about tasks you can do with your child around your house.

     Incorporating skills that your child needs to learn with daily activities, fitting the skill in naturally as part of your day can make practicing the skill more enjoyable. This morning my son was instructed to change the sheets on his bed. When he shared frustration about the corners not staying put, I guided him by demonstrating how to tuck them around a bit more securely. I realized that I had not been expecting him to do that job that his sisters and I typically did for him. Don’t consistently make the mistake of doing things for your children that they can do for themselves. Give them challenges, but then give them help or examples so that they can be successful.

     In the bathroom, cleaning can be beneficial in more ways than the obvious one! Let your child squirt a spray bottle of water on the shower wall then wipe it clean. 

     Changing the empty roll of toilet paper out for a new roll takes a bit of coordination. Challenge your child to do that if they never have before.

     Have you seen bath crayons? Writing on the shower wall and then wiping it with a sponge introduces handwriting in a vertical plane instead of the typical horizontal tabletop and can encourage them to use their whole arm in the task. Window crayons are great on mirrors as well as windows. Go ahead and have them clean the mirror after playing, too. 

     KitchenPlay with your food. I know that isn't always appropriate, but sometimes it is ok. Try things in different ways. If peeling a banana is difficult, let them try peeling one from the opposite end.  Once peeled, bananas are great to use for practicing cutting. Let them cut it in slices with a butter knife, with and without a fork. Edible decorations can be sprinkled from a bottle or from a spoon. 

     Washing dishes is an ideal sensory motor experience. Even if they are too small or unsteady to stand at the sink, you can fill a large container with warm sudsy water and let your little one wash their own play dishes while you clean the kitchen. (Of course, always supervise little ones around water.) Nesting cups are perfect for water play. Demonstrate how to scoop and pour from one container into another. 

     Instead of water, fill a large bowl or plastic bin with colored rice. Scoop and pour just as mentioned with water, or have them find toys you have hidden under the rice. 

     What about helping unload the dishwasher? Even a young child can pull utensils from the holder and hand them to you if they can't yet reach the utensil drawer. Be sure to remove all of the knives and other sharp things first.  Give them two spoons and a large pot for a musical treat like none-other and a bilateral hand workout. 

     In their bedroom ~ I mentioned making their bed. Have you ever taught a little one to hang up clothes? Help them work on buttons, zippers, and fastening belts while they are getting dressed. Cleaning their room with them, challenge them to see who can throw the most trash into the trashcan without missing.

     Think through activities that you do every day and see if you can challenge your child to do things that you have been doing for them. Leave a comment on something they succeed at that surprises you. 

***The information provided in this series has been simplified for generalization. I have not met your child so cannot offer individualized therapeutic advice. If you have a concern about your child’s fine motor skills or suspect a delay, seek a referral to a local Occupational Therapist. 

     This 5 day series FINE MOTOR FUN is a part of a larger series by 65 bloggers on the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. See all of the topics here.



  1. This is a great series you are taking part in. I really appreciate the kool aid play dough recipe. Please make sure and visit my site on Saturday and link this up. My readers would love following this series. Also, would you be interested in taking part in my Monday Feature - "Who Home Schools?" You can read about it here - http://hammocktracks.com/hammock-home-school/who-homeschools/ -Savannah www.hammocktracks.com

  2. Love these ideas! Some of my kiddos favorite activities are ones that help with fine motor skills. :)

  3. I'm still working on teaching my Big Kids to hang up clothes the "right" way. lol

    I'm enjoying reading your posts!

  4. This is so important. With my daughter who is in occupational therapy now for fine motor skills and low muscle tone, I learned that this was one of the things I did wrong when she was little. I knew she would struggle, so I just did everything for her. Unlike my other children, she never had to help carry in groceries, help carry laundry, write her own letters, open a cereal box or hand up her own clothes. Yikes!

  5. Real hands on is truly best.

  6. Ooh, my daughter would love the colored rice sensory bin! We like to make our own playdough, too! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  7. Great ideas! My daughters 2 and 9 love rice in the sand table. I haven't colored the rice yet but we did have colored sand in it before the rice. We have also done water. I like the bath crayon idea because of using the whole arm. I see the window crayons too and they sound fun.

  8. I love your suggestions. Van't wait to read your other posts in this series!

  9. These are great ideas! I've been slowly introducing chores to my younger children. I didn't do as much with my older ones and I regret it.


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