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Fine Motor Development Ideas

Hand manipulation


Hand manipulation is the ability to move small objects within or around in your hand or use tools with detail. Hand manipulation is important for fine motor development, writing and hand-eye co-ordination. You can help your child by offering plenty of everyday opportunities to handle various shaped objects. When completing an activity at a table, please ensure your child is sitting in a comfortable and supported position. See picture below.

Activity Ideas for home:


  1. Playdough/clay/plasticine- Play Dough disco or roll it out with hands, use cutters, pull small pieces off and roll into balls.
  2. Clothes Pegs- place pegs around the edge of a container, or hang socks on a clothes line
  3. Finger football- tear off small pieces of paper, crumble them up into ball shapes and use fingers to flick them towards ‘goals’
  4. Tweezer games- use tweezers to pick up buttons/cotton wool balls/dried peas etc.
  5. Threading- Beads/buttons of different sizes, pasta shapes etc.
  6. Bubble Wrap- Burst the bubbles on sheets of bubble wrap
  7. Watering Plants- using a spray bottle filled with water to water the plants around your house
  8. Tearing- Get your child to help you to rip up junk mail- this exercise enables them to use their pincher grip
  9. Coins- Children can spin coins on their edge. You could challenge them to see how many they can spin at the same time!

Slime recipe


Below is a slime recipe for children which will provide children with lots of opportunities to develop their hand manipulation skills! Enjoy!




There are a range of free Apps for Apple and Android that can help your child with finger isolation (Please be aware, some apps contain in-app purchases so your child may need some supervision while playing):


  1. Friskies Jutterbug (on Apple and Android devices)- A topic based app with different levels make it more challenging for children to catch the bugs!
  2. Fun Bubbles Lite (Apple)- Create bubbles and then pop them!