Here’s an easy way to improve fine motor skills in kids while using materials you already have! My 5 year old could not be more excited about being a kindergartner. He has always loved to work hard and learn new things that make him more grown up. Although he has been eager to learn to write letters, we are taking it slow in order to let his fine motor skills catch up with his enthusiasm. We are using the kindergarten level of Handwriting Without Tears, and I was inspired by the opening pencil activities in his book to create a little workbook with more activities that would strengthen his pencil skills. Well, Jonathan loved it! I have made several more since that first one, at his request.
These little books are perfect for bringing along on an outing where you have to wait.
Assembling the book is super easy. I just folded over three sheets of construction paper and stapled them. Then I grabbed some of those round hole reinforcement stickers and some old mailing labels. (See the dot matrix printer holes in them? Ha!) A fine Sharpie works well (this one ended up bleeding through) or grab a regular pen.
Here are the activities I put on each of the pages.
Page 1 – Trace the Letters
I used a highlighter since it’s easier to trace than dashed lines. I also added a dot showing Jonathan where to start on each letter.
Page 2 – Connect the Dots, Draw Wheels
The dots don’t have to form an elaborate picture! I did a simple pattern and a star.
Page 3 – Make Lines, Draw Hair
Draw jagged lines or bumpy lines. I did two with a highlighter to get him started, and then he made up his own version for the other ones. He had fun drawing hair (included mustaches and beards) on the heads I drew.
Page 4 – Draw Circles, Stick People, and Leaves on a Tree
Thanks to The OT Toolbox for the idea with the circle stickers! It’s a brilliant tip. I also added stick people to this page and a large tree to decorate with leaves.
Page 5 – Write Your Name and Fill in the Missing Numbers
Jonathan especially enjoyed figuring out the missing numbers!
Silly pencil activities like drawing hair have allowed us to work on Jonathan’s pencil grip without also worrying about correct letter formation at the same time. In general, I’m not one to get super concerned about variations in pencil grip, but his was so awkward that he didn’t have any distal finger control.
Have fun with pencil practice!