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Fine Motor Skill Activities using Nature

Blog,Northumberland
20/05/2020

As it is no doubt becoming increasingly hard during Lockdown to think of new and exciting activities to keep our Little Learners entertained, I thought I would share a few of the Fine Motor Skills with Nature Activities I’ve been doing with my almost 3 year old, Arlo.

What are Fine Motor Skills?

Children use their Fine Motor Skills when they perform an activity which uses the smaller muscles in their hands. Common activities include threading, drawing, playdoh, tweezing, pegs and so many more fun activities.

Why are they so important?

We give our Little Learners a variety of different activities at each session which will help develop and strengthen their Fine Motor Skills because this leads them to our ultimate goal.. Writing! Or at least Mark Making. Our Children need strong hand muscles to grasp and control a pencil once they reach school age. So we can give them a head start and a boost in confidence for starting school by also practicing these at home.

Arlo loves to be outside so I try and think of ideas we can do as a family that get us out in the fresh air, getting some exercise and exploring the outdoors. This is what we’ve been up to..

Cutting Grass with Scissors

What you need;

  • Children safe scissors
  • Grass/ leaves/ old flowers or plants

We wanted to dig out all the bushes in the front garden, usually if we attempted something like this Arlo would most likely go to his grandparents house, with that not being an option I gave Arlo some kiddie scissors and asked if he’d be a big help by cutting the grass, plants, leaves, any thing he wanted from the garden! He loves using scissors so jumped at the chance, it kept him entertained for a good half an hour! If your little one is on the younger side or it is the first time using scissors, make sure you keep a close eye on them to ensure they don’t nip themselves by accident.

Pine Cone Painting

What you need;

  • Pine Cones
  • Paint
  • Glitter*
  • Glue*
  • Gem Stickers*

*Optional

To collect the cones we went to a small wooded area near our house (which we just discovered during Lockdown). We made a game out of it to keep Arlo’s interest going, who could find the biggest, the smallest, the funniest shape etc.. This was fun enough and if your little one is tired out after running around searching you could leave the next part until another day. Arlo however was too excited and couldn’t wait to raid the Messy Play room for anything he could get his hands on!

I set up a Tuff Tray in Arlo’s room- this could also be done outside but the weather wasn’t great so we decided to stay inside. I got out our paints, glitter, glue and some gem stickers. Arlo loves glitter but we rarely use for obvious reasons, so feel free to leave that bit out if you fear glitter too! He loved painting his green (if you saw our Rainbow Trail Window Video you’ll know that’s his favourite colour) and covering it in glitter. Check out the concentration on his face!

Daisy Chains

What you need;

  • Daisies
  • Nails, small knife or bobby pin

This wasn’t a planned activity, we were on a local football field kicking the ball around when I looked down and saw a group of Daisies. This took me back to sitting on the school field making Daisy Chains with my friends at break time.

I showed him we needed to pick the Daisy near to the grass so we kept the long stem on it, we picked two to begin with. He held one whilst I made a small slit in the other with my nail. I pushed the two ends together to make the whole big enough for him to see and told him to push his Daisy stem through the hole and get his other hand ready underneath to pull it through. The Daisies were quite small but he managed to poke it through. He picked another flower and we did the same, once the fifth flower had been added I held the chain up and he squealed with excitement to see his creation. I told him he could add more to make bracelet or even a crown but he chose to keep it as it was and run around with it flying in the wind behind him to show his dad.

Rainbow Treasure Hunt

What you need;

  • Paper or Card
  • Paint Sticks/ coloured pens/ pencils
  • Glue

This was one of Arlo’s favourite activities! All you need to do is draw some different coloured circles on a sheet of paper or card- as many or as little as you like, grab a glue stick and head outside. Arlo was so excited to go on a treasure hunt and knew he was on the lookout for anything colourful! Each flower or plant he spotted was met with a shriek and once he picked it we used the glue stick to mark out a spot in the correct colour circle and he stuck it down. This activity is also really good at getting your little ones chatting, as they spot the flowers encourage them to tell you the colour and match it up on the paper. If your little one is older like Arlo you could tell them the names of the different species you come across on your hunt.

We stuck them down as we went but again if you wanted to make this a longer activity or use it over 2 days you could collect the flowers in a bag and then stick them down later on.

There are so many fun outdoor activities that exercise these little muscles so if you have any favourites please tell us in the comments. Or if you need some indoor activities check out Lene’s blog here.

You can also see what we get up to on our Facebook or Instagram page.

Thanks for reading, Georgia & Arlo x

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