I love using recycled materials for our fine motor activities. I have the hardest time trashing or recycling something before reusing it! I was going to recycle the cardboard box that our delicious local summer fruit comes in, when I noticed the air holes on the bottom. I knew they’d be the perfect size for some fine motor work 🙂
I flipped the box upside down and presented that along with a bowl of marbles for Trevor to balance in the holes. It was a great way to work on his pincer grasp and hand control.
Our activity table is a five dollar garage sale find, so it has a slight slant. We ended up moving the activity to the floor to get a more supportive surface for the box.
This was a fun, frugal fine motor activity. What materials do you love to upcycle?
If you’re looking at adding in more fine motor activities to your kids’ days, my biggest suggestion would be to save everything! LOL 🙂 I am always saving items that would normally be recycled or trashed and re-purposing them for these activities.
For this fine motor tray I used a piece of Styrofoam that I’d saved from some packaging. I simply drew a picture of a fish on the Styrofoam using markers. Along the outline of the fish I added dots about every inch, so that Trevor had targets for sticking the cocktail forks. I placed the drawn Styrofoam fish on a tray with some plastic cocktail forks that I picked up at the Dollar Tree (you could also use toothpicks or even push pins).
Pushing the cocktail forks into the Styrofoam is a great fine motor exercise. Having targets for him to aim at helps with hand-eye coordination. You really could draw any picture you wanted to on the Styrofoam (or a word like I did here), but since we’re doing an Ocean Unit Study this summer, I kept it thematic to that.
What are your kids wanting to learn about this summer?
In case you needed an excuse to drink more wine…
Save those wine corks! They have so many possibilities for uses in kids projects. All you need for this great fine motor activity are some wine corks and pieces of cut up pool noodle (which you will also fine a million uses for).
I presented this activity simply by offering a bowl full of corks and some pool noodle pieces set out on Trevor’s activity tray (aka a cookie sheet from the Dollar Tree 😉 ). I then invited him to put the corks inside the pool noodles. This is a great way to work on bilateral coordination, as the child has to use both hands to do this. Trevor had a lot of fun with this 🙂 You could also make this into a pegging-type game, where you stack pool noodles and corks together to see how tall you can make a tower. Trevor opted not to try that though. I always give him choices when we do an OT type activity.
What are your favorite uses for pool noodles outside of the pool?