As I've mentioned, I spent six weeks of my summer as a lead teacher in an academic-based program for inner city youth. My class consisted of a group of wonderful kiddos entering Kindergarten this fall. To help them prepare for the usuals of Kindergarten (cutting with scissors, writing with a pencil), I created a series of fine motor tasks for use at our "choice table." The choice table was a special table where students could select an activity for 15 minutes at the start and end of each day. In addition to my homemade fine motor tasks, the table held puzzles, books, and other rotated materials.
Fine motor movements involve small muscles, specifically in the hands, feet, and mouth. Students, especially young children and individuals with autism, can benefit from extended practice using these. As the muscles develop or strengthen, activities such as writing with a pencil and feeding with a spoon usually become much easier. In fact, fine motor tasks often use and develop other skills such as hand-eye coordination or even gross (large) motor skills.
pom poms (small, medium, and large)
Fabric Softener bottle
Objective: Students use the pincher grip (thumb and pointer finger) to use clothespins to pick up pom-pons and place them in the opening in the top of the bottle. When finished, store all materials inside the bottle!
Pipe Cleaner Piggy Bank:
bank with slit in lid or a bottle with a slit cut in the lid
Objective: Students use the muscles of the hand to maneuver pipe cleaners into the thin slit on the top of a bank. When finished, store pipe cleaners inside the bottle.
Cover the Numbers:
small pom poms
number cards, cut, colored, and laminated (Found Here)
Objective: Students use the pincher-grip to place the correct color of pom pom on each dot of a number card. Numbers 1-10 are included using dots commonly used in math programs. When finished, store materials in a pencil case or container.
Magnetic Wand Bottles:
pipe cleaners, cut into pieces
magnets or magnet wands
empty see-through bottles
hot or super glue for sealing bottles
Objective: Students use magnets or magnetic wands to manipulate the pipe cleaner bits inside the plastic bottle. May be used as a scientific method for increasing hand-eye coordination.