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Our Favourite Fine Motor Tools

We all know how important fine motor skills are in the development of our young learners. Building these small muscles in the hands allows better control and dexterity to help children complete all sorts of important tasks and is also an essential building block for pre-writing. Did you realise, though, that the development of fine motor skills ALSO contributes to a child’s academics, social interactions and other important development areas? It’s no wonder, as early years teachers, that we are constantly looking for ways to incorporate fine motor work into our already busy curriculum!

(See our special CLASSROOM CHAT guest blog with @teachingwithmissstratfold for more tips on how she does this 🀩)


The great thing about many fine motor activities is that they are easy to set up and often use items that you will already have in the classroom (or at home).

Read on for some of our top 3 favourite fine motor tools and how we use them.


πŸ’› Tongs & Tweezers πŸ’›


Tongs and tweezers are our absolute favourite go-to fine motor resource. Not only do they tick all the fine motor boxes, but they can be added to almost any activity for some fine motor fun! You can encourage students to use tongs and tweezers instead of fingers in any type of sorting activity, use them to count items onto counting mats or encourage students to use them when helping collect rubbish in the playground.


Some of our favourite Top Teacher resources that feature tongs include:


πŸ’› Fine Motor Sweets

πŸ’› Busy Bees CountingΒ 

πŸ’› Pom Pom Sorting Play Tray

πŸ’› Tweezer Sprinkles




πŸ’› Beads πŸ’›


Using beads for different threading activities is another easy-to-setup and use fine motor tool for our young learners. They help build small muscle strength as students grasp different-sized beads, especially pincer grips with smaller beads – great for our pencil grips! These types of activities also improve visual perceptual skills as students choose the beads they want to thread next and improve hand-eye coordination as they thread the bead onto the string or given item.


We love to use beads in all sorts of curriculum areas – especially maths! Counting how many beads long certain items are; threading quantities of beads onto a pipe cleaner (roll a dice to determine how many for a fun extra) and create repeating patterns with coloured beads.


Some of our favourite Top Teacher resources that feature beads include:


πŸ’› Bead PicturesΒ 

πŸ’› Threading Sun

πŸ’› Threading Tags 1-20

πŸ’› Threading Caterpillars




πŸ’› Play Dough πŸ’›


Who doesn’t love play dough? Such a classic resource that is still so popular in the early years classroom! Like those mentioned above, this tool is also super versatile, and can easily be used with loads of different resources or on its own! The benefits of play dough use are also HUGE πŸ™ŒπŸ»


When early learners are playing with play dough and manipulating it into different shapes, they are building up strength in their hands. Encourage movements such as squishing, rolling, flattening and pinching to really develop those tiny muscles.


We love to use play dough as often as we can. Why not encourage students to create their names with play dough by rolling snake shapes and then bending into letters? Ask them to create the perfect habitat for a living thing using play dough? Using scissors to ‘snip’ the play dough is another great way to learn those movements needed for precision cutting!


Some of our favourite Top Teacher resources that feature play dough include:


πŸ’› Pinchy Play Dough Mats

πŸ’› Insect Play Dough Mats

πŸ’› Flower Shop Play Tray

πŸ’› Kids Cookie Co Numbers





These are just a few of our favourite tools! If you visit the Fine Motor section over on the webby, you’ll find loads more we love using, such as nuts and bolts, pegs, water droppers, rubber bands, push pins, hole punches and more!


What are your favourite fine motor tools to use in the classroom?


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