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100+ Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers (Free Printable List)

Here is an amazingly awesome post for you! It is full of great ideas and a long list of 100 fine motor skills for toddlers and preschoolers. This list can be used as a progression for children ages up to 5 years. I also have a free printable list so you can print it and use it.

100+ Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers (Free Printable List)

I hope you find this list helpful. It certainly was for us. As you can see, we apply so many of them and are excited about completing the list.

100+ Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers (Free Printable List)

Beading

  1. Threading beads using thread, yarn, string or pipe cleaners is also a fine skills activity
  2. Can put pegs into a peg board
  3. Can put rings around a stick (like a child-safe game of horseshoes or ring toss)
  4. Uses large shoestrings and large wooden beads to make a necklace
  5. Can use Cheerios or Fruit Loops to put around a string, a piece of yarn or a pipe cleaner
  6. Can button large buttons
  7. Can button regular-sized buttons

100+ Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers (Free Printable List)

Cutting

  1. Cutting paper of varying weight and textures with scissors
  2. Can cut a strip of paper with one snip
  3. Can cut a few inches of paper in a straight line with 3-4 snips
  4. Can cut a few inches of paper in a zigzag
  5. Can cut in a wavy line while effectively staying on the line
  6. Can cut shapes like squares, rectangles and triangles
  7. Can cut shapes like circles and ovals
  8. Grating soap, carrots or cheese
  9. Cutting food with a blunt knife
  10. Can cut soft foods with a crinkle cutter

100+ Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers (Free Printable List)

Drawing

Jennifer from Study at Home Mama: “I think the most important skill is drawing, because it helps develop fine motor strength in a non-intimidating way. Fine motor strength is so often overlooked but it is something that this generation of kids are at risk of not developing adequately. Drawing can lead to an interest in so many different things, as well – representations, writing, etc.”

  1. Using dot markers in specific areas on the paper
  2. Painting with paintbrushes, fingers or q-tips
  3. Can doodle
  4. Can trace vertical lines, horizontal lines and diagonal lines
  5. Can draw vertical lines, horizontal lines and diagonal lines
  6. Can trace over circles and ovals
  7. Can draw circles and ovals
  8. Can trace over squares and triangles
  9. May attempt to draw a square and a triangle on his own
  10. Can make strokes with paint and paintbrush
  11. Can hold a crayon or marker with the correct grip instead of with fist
  12. Can try to color within the lines
  13. Can draw a stick person, a tree and a house

100+ Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers (Free Printable List)

Handwriting

  1. Writing with pencil, markers, crayons or fingers
  2. Erasing with an eraser
  3. Can scribble as if writing letters or words
  4. Can mostly write words and letters on the line and not all over the page
  5. Can write uppercase letters
  6. Can write lowercase letters
  7. May start favoring one hand over the other for writing and coloring
  8. Can write numbers 1-5 and they are legible
  9. Can write numbers 6-10 and they are legible
  10. Can coordinate writing a number and drawing a matching object next to it
  11. Can write left to right, top to bottom
  12. Can write one’s own name
  13. Can use a tack or a pushpin to punch tiny holes around a small shape (like a square or a circle) until it becomes detached (use which flannel, cork board or foam underneath)

100+ Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers (Free Printable List)

Lacing

Colleen from Raising Lifelong Learners: “My favorite fine motor skill to work on is lacing/threading because it’s fun, there are so many ways to do it {lacing cards, yarn through straws, making necklaces, beads on pipe cleaners, etc.} and it builds strong prewriting skills.”

  1. Spooling or wrapping something around something else
  2. Weaving or looming with ribbon, thread or yarn
  3. Sewing with needle and thread
  4. Can use fingers and hands to use sign language to communicate with caretakers
  5. Can tie shoelaces
  6. Can do a simple cross stitch with needle and thread
  7. Lacing with yarn or shoelaces around sturdy shapes
  8. Can learn to make a simple braid with hair, thick yarn or ribbon

100+ Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers (Free Printable List)

Building and Stacking

Trish, from Live and Learn Farm: “My boys attended a Montessori school before homeschooling and they had a very specific emphasis on developing their fine motor skills using Montessori materials such as the practical life dressing frames. After we started homeschooling, the absolute best product I have found to develop fine motor skills is Legos!! Another reason Legos belong in our homeschools!”

  1. Builds towers of 1-3 wooden blocks by age 2
  2. Builds towers of 8-10 blocks by age 4
  3. Can build a block “wall” of at least 6 blocks by 6 blocks
  4. Stacking items such as rainbow blocks
  5. Can build legos to build a tower of about 10 legos
  6. Can carefully build a structure or creature with legos
  7. Can create a domino maze of 6-8 dominos
  8. Can put together snap circuits
  9. Can stack cards from a deck of cards in a neat pile
  10. Stack items by size such a wooden rainbow’s arches

100+ Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers (Free Printable List)

Sticky Items

Kara from ALLterNATIVElearning: “Playing with clay, play-doh, or kinetic sand with the hands only is often an imaginative and creative fine motor activity to improve BOTH strength and dexterity. Few fine motor activities work on both aspects of building the muscles within the hands, making it both our favorite and the best!”

  1. Uses glue to paste objects onto a piece of paper, no specific location
  2. Uses glue to paste objects onto a piece of paper on a specific place of the paper
  3. Can put glue onto the back of the paper without spilling glue
  4. Can use a paintbrush or foam brush to spread glue on a piece of paper
  5. Can effectively put glue onto a piece of paper and effectively gets it on the ages
  6. Peeling stickers off paper and placing them on a specific place on the paper
  7. Playing with dough to create small objects
  8. Can use fingers to roll play dough into a “snake”
  9. Can use fingers to make a ball with play dough
  10. Can make and stack 3 balls to make a “snowman” out of play dough

100+ Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers (Free Printable List)

Transferring, Sorting, Gripping

Deb from Living Montessori Now: “It’s difficult for me to decide on my favorite fine-motor skill since I love almost every fine-motor activity for preschoolers. My favorite fine-motor activity might be using a dropper (for example, for color mixing) because it’s fun and develops the pincer grasp and muscular coordination that are so important for writing.”

  1. Transferring small objects from one container to another
  2. Sorting items such as legos, seashells or cars
  3. Using the pincer grip (thumb and usually index finger) to grasp small objects such as beads
  4. Controlling the release of objects
  5. Can turn a small knob with one hand
  6. Can turn a doorknob with two hands
  7. Transferring water using a dropper or spoon
  8. Reaching to effectively grasp small objects
  9. Can transfer a small (bead), medium (golf ball) and large object (orange) from one hand to another
  10. Can turn pages on board books
  11. Can turn pages on regular books
  12. Can grip food items with hand and feed oneself
  13. Can use a fork or spoon to feed oneself
  14. Can hold a cup and drink out of it without dropping it
  15. Can point to a word or an object on a book while following along in the reading
  16. Can screw bolts onto screws

100+ Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers (Free Printable List)

Personal Care:

  1. Can put on a hat on their own
  2. Can take a hat off on their own
  3. Can put bottoms (pants, shorts, skirts) on independently
  4. Can take bottoms off on their own
  5. Can put on shirts independently
  6. Can take off a shirt independently
  7. Can put socks on by themselves
  8. Can remove socks alone
  9. Can put on simple shoes on their own
  10. Can take shoes on alone, discriminating between left and right
  11. Can coordinate a hairbrush to brush hair
  12. Can coordinate movements to brush own teeth
  13. Can wash hands with soap by themselves

Jennifer from The Life of Jennifer Dawn: “When providing opportunities for my kids to sharpen their fine motor skills, my favorites are the crafty/creative ones–drawing, painting, sewing, lacing, weaving… That’s just because I tend to gravitate to all things creative. As far as importance, I feel all fine motor skills are equally important. Griping, writing, cutting, fastening a button, and other fine motor practices are vital life skills.”100+ Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers (Free Printable List)

I hope you enjoyed the list and that you found it helpful. Get your printable, too!

Fine Motor Skills List Download!

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Comments

  1. Awesome post,Tanya! Thanks so much for sharing my quote and linking to Living Montessori Now. It was such fun to read all the quotes! I pinned your post and shared it at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page. 🙂

    • Thank you! You are wonderful for contributing and offering such an amazing thought, after all of your years of experience and love for teaching. 🙂

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