This is a fun and easy fine motor activity with a quick set up. All you need are a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand around your house. Before you know it your child will be busy improving his or her fine motor skills so you can steal a few minutes to take care of your own needs.
- Beads of various shapes and sizes [or other small items]
- Playdough rolling-pin
- A surface to work on
- Get out playdough
- Use roller to flatten
- Place a bowl of beads near the playdough.
- Take a bead and place it in the playdough in front of your child using your index finger. [Repeat if necessary until child does the same.]
- Allow child to finish decorating by pressing all the beads into the playdough.
- When finished take one of the beads out of the playdough [using a pincer grasp] and put it into the bowl — encourage your child to do the same.
- Allow child to finish putting all the beads back in the bowl.
- Repeat as desired.
You can use any small items other than beads for this activity such as small pieces of pasta, dried beans, etc. Make sure your child is mature enough to handle small parts before you offer this activity.
Using the index finger to press beads into the playdough helps prepare the child for the development of writing skills in the future. If your child uses their palm or thumb just keep modeling the proper technique until your child does the same — Even if it takes a few go rounds of completing this activity before they “get it.” There is always a next time and there is certainly no rush!
Think of this activity as building for the future. The future of your child learning to use and work with their hands in the detailed ways specific to writing, arts, crafts, cooking, playing musical instruments, hand work, etc.
The most important part of this activity — Have fun making art!!