Motor development is a huge part of kindergarten! Fine motor skills are important because we use them in our writing, coloring, cutting and more. When a student has poor motor skills, they’re often embarrassed and feel less successful when completing assignments. I’ve even had students cry because they couldn’t do something that comes easily for their peers. That’s why, when I was getting my masters in education, I wanted to know the most effective way to improve students’ fine motor. I wanted a way to help students that came to my class with inefficient fine motor skills, so they could feel confident in all they did in my room. Through my research, I found that multisensory handwriting activities help students develop their fine motor.
The best way to engage students is through hands on, whole body learning. We’ve learned this in school, through student teaching and by observing our own students year after year. Multisensory activities are just that! Read on to find the multisensory activities I use during handwriting.
Multisensory Activities to Incorporate During Handwriting
- Paint Bags – For this activity, ziplock bags are filled with paint. Students use their fingers to practice writing letters on top of the bag. I used painters tape to create a dotted line on the paint bags so students could practice uppercase and lowercase letters using the line.*Tip: tape your bags shut so you don’t have any big paint messes!
- Sand Paper – Grab different types of sand paper (not too rough) and with a sharpie, make a dotted line. Students can use their fingers to practice writing letters. Another way to do this is to use sharpie to write the letters on the sand paper. That way, students just trace over the letters with their fingers.
- Puff Paint – Use puff paint to write letters on a piece of paper. When the puff paint dries, it will be a raised letter for students to use their finger to trace over.
- Shaving cream – Spray shaving cream evenly in a tin. Students use their finger to write their letters in the shaving cream.
- Sand Table – I am fortunate enough to have a sand table in my room. Students flatten the sand and then practice writing their letters with their finger. If you do not have a sand table, you can make sand trays. Here’s an example from Pocket of Preschool.
- Play dough – Students make the letters out of play dough and then trace with their fingers over the raised dough. Students can also flatten the dough and use a toothpick to write the letters in the dough.
- Pokey thing – I have students use a pushpin to poke around letters (or sight words) that have been flipped around or mirrored. Using a pushpin strengthens their fine motor. Once they’ve poked all around the letters or sight word, they can trace the opposite side with their finger.
What activities do you incorporate in your classroom to strengthen your students’ fine motor?