Before I start... MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
I know it seems a little sad to be writing a blog post on Christmas day, but I have been so preoccupied looking up finger gym activities the last few days, I thought that if I finally put it together it would relieve a bit of tension (not sure exactly how but I will try!)
It is about now that new graduates are starting to get the jitters - "Where do I start?"
One really important aspect of learning in an Early Years classroom is fine motor development. Handwriting is a very intricate process for little learners and their fingers need all the help they can get!
I have been doing some surfing for fun fine motor activities to set up a 'Finger Gym' rotation during my maths rotations throughout the year, and have compiled a collection of links to share with you all.
If you would like to see how I integrate fine motor skill activities into my math rotations with number work, you can check out my post on 'Beginning Math Centres' - with FREEBIES included! - by following the link below.
Now, onto the fun!
I have hyperlinked each picture to its original publisher where you will be able to read more about each activity.
Lacing and threading are brilliant ways to build fine motor skills. My little darlings absolutely LOVED my Melissa & Doug lacing cards (below) when I brought them in this year, but you don't need to spend big money to do this. How cool are these superhero lacing cards?? Just choose your pictures (I just love the idea of using superheroes!) and print them onto cardstock - the larger the better, laminate them and use a hole punch to add holes around the outside of each picture. Cheap and easy, and you can personalise them to suit your students' interests.
Of course, you can easily integrate threading into your literacy rotations with letter beads and shoestrings, or throw in some colourful beads and practise making or copying patterns.
This is another quick and easy threading activity that doesn't require a great deal of prep. Clay or play dough, skewers or spaghetti, and pasta - Simple!
Similar again - this time as a colour sort. Coloured matchsticks and a bucket!
Another quick and easy one. The aim of this one is to have the kiddies balance the marbles on the golf tee's.
This example is from 'What Do We Do All Day?', and shows just how simple fine motor practise can be - just draw some lines on paper strips and add some scissors and a scrap bowl!
Little tip - ANYTHING WITH TWEEZERS! If you can add tweezers to an activity - go for it! You can pick them up fairly cheap and they are totally worth the investment.
Oh - and pegs! Pegs are GREAT! :) (Links to image only - no host site :( )
You know those little toys you can get in the $2 stores' party sections? The little spinners, and jumping frogs, and mazes - guess what? Use them! Like I said, anything that gets their little fingers moving is perfect!
By the way, how adorable is this Finger Gym set up from Jessica Webb?? LOVE IT!
Padlocks and keys - yep! This picture is from 'ABC Does' and I can just see lots of little kiddies keeping busy with this.
Copying patterns into a sand tray is always a winner like in this picture from Atendiendo Necesidades - and a great step towards pre-writing. (And if you have a spare hour this site is most definitely worth a look!)
And I just had to include this one from Hip Hop Hen! How many of your boys would go nuts if this was a 'learning' activity?!
Well I hope this has given you a few ideas of how to incorporate fine motor skills practise into your early years classroom. I have saved these pictures onto my USB as inspiration for my own 'Finger Gym' activities :) I promise I will post photos early in the new school year of my own set ups to check out!
Got your own 'tried and true' fine motor games and activities? I would love for you to share :) Or fellow teacher blog-authors, if you have a post along the same lines, please comment with a link for us to check it out!
Until next time...