At-Home Activities to Grow Your Child’s Fine and Sensory Motor Skills

Growing up is more than child’s play for our youngest discoverers. Each day provides new opportunities (and challenges), but exploration becomes easier with each passing moment as children’s motor skills develop! At Children’s Discovery Center, our work is only supplemental to the important care you provide at home. As your child’s most important teacher, we’ve compiled some activities to help you guide their sensory development and fine motor skills at home.

Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are complex, minute manual movements involving coordination between the small muscles in the eyes, hands and fingers. The honing of these skills aids both in a child’s intellectual and physical development. Try these at-home activities to help guide your child’s growth outside the classroom!

  1. Make Play-Doh or Putty Critters.

Play-dough/putty is a perfect tool to help young children master their fine motor skills, and you can even work in a nature lesson in the process. Take a nature walk with your child and observe worms, birds, snakes (from a safe distance) and other creatures. Then, have your child pinch, squeeze and roll the putty to practice their fine motor skills and make a new friend.

Up for some fun in the kitchen? Click this link to try making natural Play-Doh from Natural Baby Mama.

  1. Paint together.

Kids love some messy fun! Painting is not only a fun way to unlock your child’s creativity but also helps build their fine motor skills. This activity allows your children to work those small muscles as they learn to hold a paintbrush and use it as a tool – a very transferable skill. 

  1. Start a garden.

Instill an appreciation for nature in your child as you work together in the garden. Gardening helps children build hand-eye coordination, a skill honed as they transfer tiny seeds into the holes dug using their fine motor skills.

Sensory Motor Skills

How do we explore our world? Through our five senses, of course! Sensory motor skills allow us to take in information about our surroundings and learn how to adjust our bodies to shift with our environment. These at-home activities can help your child develop these important skills!

  1. Try ice painting. (Just add salt!)

This “cool” activity introduces your child to an array of new textures and provides a fun science lesson in the process. Simply grab your icetray, add paint and salt on top, and watch as your child engages in hands-on exploration of the frozen water lifecycle from hard to slush to its final liquid state. 

  1. Train all five senses using only a marshmallow.

This tasty activity is one sweet way to hone the senses. First, have your child explore the softness of a fresh marshmallow and inspect the exterior. Then, tear it open to feel the gooey, sticky center. Next comes hearing. Have your little one squeeze the marshmallow to listen for any new noises. Finally comes the fun part! It’s time to eat this treat! Have your child describe the marshmallow’s taste and smell to finish this activity. 

  1. Share a walk through nature.

Nature is our greatest teacher! From looking for animals and feeling fragile leaves and rough bark to experiencing walking across all kinds of surfaces, the great outdoors offers unlimited opportunities to build sensory motor skills. 

Helping Your Child Discover Their World 

At Children’s Discovery Center, we understand that no child’s learning journey is the same, which is why our S.T.E.A.M.-powered curriculum was designed to help each child thrive in their unique way. Through our Reggio Emilia philosophy, our compassionate educators provide your child with the care they need to unlock their potential. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule a visit to our state-of-the-art discovery centers