I am a contributor over at ABC & 123 and I wanted to share some of my posts from there with you all in case you missed them! This post is part 1 of 2 on incorporating Fine Motor Skills into learning, and best of all it is easy and fun! So without any further ado, here are some ideas to help you change a hum drum routine into fabulous fun and work those fine motor skills at the same time! Here’s a sneak peak at the activities I included, the full links are at the bottom of this post:

Biggie Beads by Fun Fusion!

We have the original Perler Beads, but this is a new variation for smaller children who can’t quite manipulate the tiny ones. You can iron your finished design just like the regular ones, and they are perfect to use as counters, color sorting, and patterns! They’re just the right size for my 4 year old, and great for fine-muscle practice! I also had her try this using tweezers to grab the beads.


Marble balancing:

This is one of our favorite activities to work on fine motor coordination. I chose to do it in the workbox because otherwise we’d have marbles rolling all over! Using a piece of Styrofoam, simply push golf tees into the foam, then balance different sized marbles on the tops!


Glass Beads:

I found this bag of gems at Michael’s. We use them for everything from color sorting, to counters for our Letter of the Week games! Balancing them on the Popsicle sticks takes great control!



Click here to read Fine Motor Skills Part1!

Click here for Fine Motor Skills Part 2!


  1. These ideas are wonderful! As a mother of a child with very low muscle tone and poor motor skills, we seem like we do everything out there, but I haven't even thought of the last two! Today is my school shopping day, and I'm so excited to get golf tees, and gems! Thanks!

  2. Having two sons with Autism, SPD, and hypotonia, we do a LOT of fine motor work in this house. It's not a nice thing, it's a must. These are great ideas, some of which we have already been doing for a while (just slight variations of them). Keep them coming, I read you everyday and learn something new everyday.

  3. Okay Erica,Fess up. 🙂 Do you just have the most AMAZING little ones or do you have tricks?I think these fine motor skill activities would be great but I would have to be a tyrant supervising at all times and thus using it as an independent activity while I get some math in with the 6 year old would be impossible.Here is how I would envision this at our house: I would give a SUPERB explanation and do 3-4 examples (giggling at the use of "superb"). My nearly 4 year old would stick with the program for perhaps 4 more beads. The 6 year old would beg and plead and pout and our math lesson would begin with pouting and crying because he didn't get to do "that easy task over there." The 4 year old would soon realize that the red ones are the same color as Darth Vader's light saber and the green ones remind him of Luke Skywalker which means the white ones must certainly be Storm Troopers and after getting through our review facts in 6 yr old math I would then realize (while gettin hit in the head with a marble) that the marbles are flying in the air and crashing into each other as they are having a "Star War." You know, it couldn't possibly the near 4 yr old's fault. :)Do young girl littles not do this sort of thing? Or do your workboxes help you solve this as it keeps them hoping quickly from one activity to the next? Did you have to supervise diligently for the first several weeks and now they know the "game" and routine? Can your littles do this sort of thing w/o you or is expecting to keep them busy with this sort of thing while you are doing 1:1 instruction with an older a false expectation?Thank you for your input.By the way, I saw similar flattened marbles at Dollar Tree.

  4. I agree with Kristi. My tiny tot (who is almost 2) would wreck havoc on my 4 year old who would be doing this lesson!How do you do it? I cannot keep my tiny tot out of anything. Nothing seems to work; I must have not gone to that class!Keep up the great work; I love reading your blog!

  5. I love the biggie Perler beads! I found them a few weeks ago at JoAnns, and went to their website to download new patterns.I tape the tray with masking tape over the pattern (to help with sliding) and let my 4yo boy go to town (often when my 2yo boy is napping) – even so, if the younger is awake, he likes doing the "beads" for a few minutes. We DON'T iron the patterns; just reuse them. They are great fun! It would be neat if there was a blank template for creating new patterns….graph paper, maybe?I'm glad you've shared these, Erica. They ARE super fun!

  6. Thanks for the ideas! I was just trying to come up with some additional ways to work on fine motor skills with my daughter.I also like to use the lite brite to work on fine motor skills. Younger preschoolers can make their own designs, while older children can use the picture papers!Wendy


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