When your child is in preschool, it’s important to prioritize helping them to develop fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are those that deal with the tiny muscles in the hand. These skills are essential for many tasks that are important in daily life, from using a fork to zipping your coat to writing and typing. At our child care center in South Windsor, we prioritize helping our students develop fine motor skills through play. You can also encourage your child’s development through certain activities you can do at home.

Finger Painting

Kids love getting creative, and it’s good for their development, too. When you’re looking for an activity that helps your child enhance fine motor skills, finger painting is a great option. You can use paint on paper, or if you would like easier clean up, try using a tray with shaving cream instead.

Play Dough

Play dough is one of the best ways to build hand strength. It is not only naturally appealing to curious little hands, it provides plenty of resistance for exercising those muscles. You can make play dough at home, or just keep some on hand for your child to play with.


Coloring is the perfect way to build up hand muscles for gripping a pen and pencil later in life. For a particular challenge, have your child color with broken crayons, which force them to hold them between the thumb and forefinger with precision. You can have a similar impact with broken pieces of chalk for sidewalk art. Regardless of the method, coloring is a fun and effective way to develop fine motor skills.


Puzzles are beneficial for developing a variety of skills, including fine motor. As your child places, flips, and turns puzzle pieces, they learn how to manipulate objects using the muscles in their hands.

Practice Buttoning, Zipping, and Tying

Teaching your child how to dress themselves doesn’t only save you time in the morning; it helps them to hone their fine motor skills. Enhance your child’s dexterity by teaching them how to button and zip their clothes and tie their shoes. At many toy stores, you can find activity boards designed to help children practice these tasks.

Water Play

Young children love playing in water, and while they are having fun, they are also enhancing their hand strength. A great way to encourage this is with two buckets, one full of water and one empty. Soak a sponge in the water-filled bucket, then have your child squeeze the water from it into the empty bucket. They can then transfer the water back and forth as they so choose. The squeezing action engages their hand muscles. Add food dye or some bubbles for an added bit of fun.

At Foundations for Learning, we are happy to help your child with their development, including their fine motor skills. If you are looking for child care in South Windsor, come tour our facility to see if it is the right match for you and your child.