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Saturday, September 5, 2020


One teacher said at the beginning of the school year she asks her students these questions:
     How many of you have your own television?
     How many of you have your own computer?
     How many of you have your own pair of scissors?

It's not surprising that the majority of the children raise their hands to answer the first few questions, but very few have their own pair of scissors. Most children are pretty good at tap and swipe, but they definitely need more activities to engage their small muscles. Here are some "hands-on" ways to send those little fingers to the gym at home.

Tearing Tub - Place tissue paper, wrapping paper, construction paper scrapes, etc. in a plastic tub and encourage the children to tear them. Can they make confetti? Can they tear shapes and use them to make a collage?

Cutting Pool - Put paper scraps, junk mail, catalogs, etc. in an old plastic swimming pool. Add some safety scissors and cut, cut, cut.
*Children will also enjoy decorative scissors.
*It’s also fun to cut up leftover cooked spaghetti noodles.

Hole Punch - Using a hole punch with paper, cards, or paper plates will strengthen small muscles.


Stringing - Children can string cereal with holes, beads, cut up straws, large buttons, or pasta.
*Use old shoelaces, dental floss, or string with the ends wrapped in tape.

Penny Pick Up
- Lay 3 pennies on the table for children to pick up with one hand. Can they place the pennies back on the table one at a time? Can they pick up the pennies with the opposite hand?

Clothespins - Have children pick up pompoms or cotton balls with a spring clothespin and put them in a bowl.

Pouring - Give children pitchers and other containers in a water tub to practice pouring.

Sand Play - A sandbox is a natural place where children can dig, mold, pour, and wiggle little fingers.

Play Dough - Add cookie cutters, scissors, plastic hammers, and other objects for further exploration.

Tongs & Tweezers - Give children tongs to move small toys or other objects from one plate to another.

Sewing - Provide children with sewing cards or make your own from old greeting cards and cereal boxes.


Lids- Fill small jars and plastic containers with small toys. Children get to remove the lids, open the containers, take out the objects, and then reseal them. It’s like opening presents!

Construction Toys - Blocks, Legos, and similar materials enable children to use small muscles, as well as their imaginations.

Baby Dolls - Dressing dolls will utilize small muscles. Washing doll clothes and other toys is also fun.

Puzzles & Pegboards
- Offer children puzzles, pegboards, and other table toys where they can develop small motor skills.

Art - Painting, drawing, pasting, and other art activities will get little hands ready to write.

Shaving Cream - A sure winner for all times is a squirt of shaving cream on desks or tables. Children can make designs, draw, or write. You’ll get tabletops and hands clean as the children have fun!