Back to School Fine Motor Activities

The beginning of the school year is such an exciting time! It can also be a challenging time for our young kindergarten students who are learning how to use school tools effectively. You can make this transition easier for your students by giving them more opportunities to improve their hand strength and coordination. In this post, I’m sharing some engaging back to school fine motor activities that are perfect for the beginning of the year!

Back to School Fine Motor Activities

The Importance of Fine Motor Practice

Each new group of kindergarten students represents a wide range of experience with hand strength and coordination. Some students can easily tie their shoes while other students are learning how to hold a pencil. With such a wide range of skills in your classroom, it’s important to incorporate fine motor activities into your daily routine from the very beginning of the school year.

When students have difficulty with fine motor skills, it can impact their ability to complete learning activities throughout the school day. That’s why it’s vital for young kindergarten students to practice these skills as much as possible!

5 Back to School Fine Motor Activities

With so much ground to cover at the beginning of the school year, it’s helpful when you can combine academic skill practice with fine motor activities. These back-to-school fine motor activities can help you do just that! Students can review important literacy and math skills as they improve their hand strength and coordination!

1. Play Dough Letter Formation

Play dough is such a great tool for fine motor activities in kindergarten! In this fine motor center, students will roll out several pieces of play dough into thin ropes. They will then use a play dough mat to form an uppercase and lowercase letter using their play dough pieces.

Play dough mat for the letter Bb

Each play dough card also includes an object that begins with that letter, so this activity can also help students listen for beginning sounds. This is an important foundational skill for future phonics instruction!

2. Beginning Sounds Clip Cards

For even more practice with beginning sounds, you can use this bus-themed clip card activity. Students can take a clothespin and attach it to the picture that begins with the letter on the bus. Clip activities are such a great way for students to strengthen their pincer grasp!

Bush-themed clip cards

You can make this a self-correcting activity by placing a sticker on the back of the task card, behind the correct answer. After adding the clip to the card, students can flip over the task card to see if they were correct!

These task cards could also be laminated for even more fine motor practice. Students can trace the uppercase and lowercase letters on the task card with dry erase markers as part of the activity.

3. Snap Cube Number Formation

You can also add some math practice to your fine motor activities! This snap cube activity invites students to practice number formation as they improve their hand strength.

Creating the number six with snap cubes

Each task card contains a number that students can build using snap cubes. Attaching snap cubes together and pulling them apart is a good hand-strengthening activity for little hands!

In addition to building the number with cubes, students can also trace the number several times with a dry erase marker. There is also space for them to count that number of objects and trace the number word. This is a great introduction to numbers at the beginning of the year!

4. Pom Pom Counting

For even more counting practice with a fine motor twist, your students can add pom poms to task cards with tweezers. 

Adding pom poms to a number task card

Students will choose a task card and transfer that number of pom poms to the card. You can adjust the difficulty of the task by changing the size of the pom poms that students use. The smaller the pom pom, the bigger the challenge! 

You could also give students a different tool for transferring the pom poms to the card. For example, you could swap out the jumbo tweezers for a clothespin to give students more of a challenge. There is also plenty of space for students to trace the number on the card as part of this activity.

5. Bingo Dauber Shape Formation

Finally, it’s always fun to review two-dimensional shapes at the beginning of the school year. This is especially true when it includes engaging fine motor practice!  This bingo dauber activity is always a hit with students at the beginning of the year! They love using daubers to create different two-dimensional shapes.

Shape practice worksheets and task cards

Just like the pom pom cards, you can adjust the fine motor skills used for this activity by switching out the tools. For example, instead of using a bingo dauber, students can place a mini eraser on each circle of the task card. You could also give students a sheet of circle stickers to use for this activity. There are a lot of fine motor movements involved in removing stickers from the sheet and then placing them on a piece of paper!

Fine Motor Activities for the Whole Year

Would you like to include more fine motor practice into your daily kindergarten routine? I have put together a bundle of Fine Motor Centers with themed activities for the entire school year! Just like the activities I mentioned above, most of these fine motor activities include some literacy and math practice. These seasonal fine motor activities follow the natural progression of the school year, so your students will be reviewing relevant academic skills as they improve their hand strength and coordination.

Just click below to head over to my shop if you’d like to take a closer look at all of the activities included in this bundle of fine motor centers for kindergarten.

Save These Back to School Fine Motor Activities

Be sure to save this post if you’d like to come back to it later! Just add the pin below to your favorite Pinterest board of teaching ideas. You’ll be able to quickly find these fine motor activities when you’re working on your back-to-school lesson plans.

Back to School Fine Motor Activities