Activities for children in 1st grade to develop fine motor skills

Topic of Content

  1. Introduction
  2. What is meant by fine motor skills
  3. Different fine motor skills
  4. Top 10 activities to develop fine motor skills
  5. Conclusion


Do you have a child in 1st grade who is struggling to hold a pencil correctly or write neatly? If so, then this article may be for you. We will discuss ten activities that will help your child develop their fine motor skills and make handwriting easier. Many of these can be done at home with minimal supplies, while others require more materials such as construction paper, glue sticks, scissors, etc. But before we start, let''s find out what these fine motor skills'' ''are precise?


What is meant by fine motor skills?

Fine motor skills are defined as the small muscles in your hands and fingers. As a child grows, they learn to grip things better with their hand, strengthening their fine motor skills. The goal is for children having difficulty holding pencils or using scissors need to have enough strength in these areas that they can manipulate tools without too much effort.


Different fine motor skills

Following are the different fine motor skills for 1st-grade children to develop

  1. Pincer grasp (grasping items between thumb and index finger)
  2. Bilateral coordination (using two hands together to complete a task such as building with blocks or using scissors)
  3. Oral motor skills [such as biting food, chewing]


Top 10 activities to develop fine motor skills

Following are the top 10 activities to develop fine motor skills in your 1st-grade children.

1st Activity: using a pincer grasp

This is one of the most fundamental motor skills needed to use tools like scissors. Using two fingers with the thumb, pinch something together, such as paper or food. Do this between each hand''s thumb and index finger simultaneously, so you''re using both hands at once for bilateral coordination. Children should be able to do this in about six months after starting school, but it may take three years before they can hold on tightly enough without slipping off quickly.

2nd Activity: picking up objects


This is one of the most important fine motor skills for getting around independently. Young children sitting in their high chair should be able to use both hands equally and have developed the dexterity needed with fine muscle control, such as pinching, enough to pick up small items between thumb and index finger. This will help them learn how to grip things tightly, so they don''t slip off easily. They should start practicing this at age six months because it can take three years before they are skilled enough not to constantly drop what they''re holding by accident or let go of anything too soon without realizing it.

3rd Activity: Colouring with crayons


Drawing with a crayon directly onto paper, rather than using the traditional coloring books or markers, also helps develop fine motor skills. The motion is similar to that of drawing on top of the paper and requires grasping and controlling the pencil in one hand while supporting it at its base (near your elbow) with your other hand. This will help them learn how to grip things tightly, so they don''t slip off easily.

4th activity: tying knots


Learning to tie a basic knot can help kids develop strength in their fingers. When they know how to do this, it will be easier to hold pens or pencils without dropping them! This is also important as tying shoelaces, and other small tasks become more complex during the school years. Learning now could save you from constant frustration later on!

5th Activity: Threading beads

Threading beads on a string requires fine motor control. This is because the child needs to push and pull the bead between two strings with sufficient pressure to stay in place as they go down, but not too much so that it comes off of one side or becomes loose. Learning this skill can help them be more successful later when sewing clothes or doing any other task where threading is necessary.

6th Activity: Using Playdough (molding clay)

Playdough allows children to develop their hand strength while also developing coordination by controlling how the Playdough moves before shaping it into something new. These are both essential skills for children, as they will be learning to use scissors and other tools in the future.

7th Activity: Use Q-tips

Q-Tips are great for developing fine motor skills while also helping children learn symmetry and balance concepts. A child can use a q-tip to create patterns in wet (bath) or dry (hands, tables) surfaces that will not be destroyed easily by water.

8th Activity: Use Play-Doh

Like Playdough, children can use different textures of Playdough (solid or liquid) and tools such as cookie cutters to create various designs. The creativity encouraged by this Activity also helps develop fine motor skills in the future while keeping their minds active with new ideas.

9th Activity: Modelling Clay

Modeling clay is one way for children to work on shape recognition and hand-eye coordination without having any messes left behind after playing with it. It provides multiple opportunities for them to practice molding shapes from balls into cubes, cylinders, etc., which will come in handy when using more complicated materials later on down the road.

10th Activity: Drawing

Drawing is an excellent way for children to practice their fine motor skills, as it requires them to pick up a pen or pencil and draw lines on paper. It can also help develop hand-eye coordination while giving kids an outlet for creative self-expression in this form of art.




To improve their fine motor skills, children in 1st grade should engage in various activities. We''ve outlined 10 of the most fun and engaging ways to help your child become better at using their hands while learning something new. If you have any questions about these ideas or want more suggestions, feel free to reach out!

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