Busy Hands is a selection of experiences across all age groups, focused on supporting children with their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are the use of the small muscles within your hands, fingers and wrists. Below you will find a selection of experiences suitable for children aged 3-5.

Peg circles

Support your child's matching skills in this pincer grip experience

Safety first

Ensure pegs are checked before use to ensure they are safe to use.

What to do

Cut a circle from card and gather together some plastic or wooden clothes pegs.
Add a colured dot to each of your pegs and add a corresponding dot for each colour around the edge of the card.
Place the card and pegs out for your child. Show them how they can match the pegs to the right coloured dot on the card. Ask your child if they can recognise the colours.
You can also do this activity with letters or numbers!

More information

Matching and sorting are important mathematical concepts. To be able to sort, children need to think logically, which is an important skill for later mathematical thinking.

Hanger game

Support your child's pincer grip as they take part in this game.

Safety First

Ensure pegs are checked before use to ensure safe to use.

What to do

Gather together a coat hanger, some pegs and a dice. Invite your child to join you at a table or sitting on the floor ready to play a game.

Role model to your child how to play the game by rolling the dice. Dependent on the number rolled on the dice, attach this many pegs to a hanger, for example if you rolled a 3, peg 3 pegs onto the hanger.

Invite your child to then have a turn. As they attach the pegs to the hanger, invite them to count the pegs as they do so.

Continue this experience taking turns. You could also use the dice to determine how many pegs to take off the hanger!

More Information

Fine motor skills contribute to supporting children with their handwriting, which consists of many skills including eye-hand coordination, muscle memory, posture, body control, as well as pencil grasp.

Tray transporter

Develop your child's fine motor skills as they take part in this transferring experience.

Safety first

Ensure this experience is supervised.

What to do

Invite your child to join you at the table or sitting on the floor. Show your child the resources and name these.

Role model to your child how you can use the tweezers to pick up an item and transfer this to the ice cube tray/muffin tray. Do this by taking the tweezers in your dominant hand, and holding these in a pincer grip (between your thumb and index finger). Place the ends of the tweezers over the item and squeeze your fingers together resulting in the tweezers closing on the item which you can now pick up the item keeping the tweezers squeezed together as you transfer this to the tray.

Invite your child to have a turn and see if they can transfer all the items into the tray provided.

More Information

Children need opportunities to take part in a range of activities that will support and increase their muscle strength and coordination. This supports preparing children for more advanced skills, such as writing with a pencil, using a computer mouse or playing a musical instrument.

Utensil explorer

Support your child's fine motor skills as they explore and understand utensils within the world around them.

Safety first

Ensure this experience is closely supervised.

What to do

Show your child the collected resources and see if they can name these.

Role model to your child how to use each of the utensils one at a time, followed by inviting your child to then have a turn as they copy your actions. For example, show them how to place the lemon in the lemon squeezer as you then use both hands to squeeze the handles of the tool together or show them how you can grasp the whisk to stir around the flour.

Continue the experience as you explore the different utensils and their purpose together.

More Information

By encouraging your child to practice and use their fine motor skills (use of the hands) helps them to develop cognitively as they understand the world around them.

UP for Parents

UP provides essential guidance, resources and information on how to deliver effective learning experiences for your children. There is something on UP for everyone; why not download UP and see what amazing experiences you will find for your family?

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UP provides our educators with a wealth of quality learning experiences and essential guidance. UP pushes the boundaries to deliver even better learning outcomes, giving Busy Bees children the very best start in life. There is something on UP for all educators; download UP and see how this can enhance your practice today!


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