10 Fine Motor Activity Ideas Using Common Household Items

Sometimes, the best activities are the simplest!  Given that many of us are spending a lot more time at home, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite easy fine motor activities you can do using materials you probably have in your home.     

1. Color under the table

  • What you need: paper, tape, crayons, child size table.
  • What to do: This is just as easy as it sounds.  Tape paper under the table and have your child lay on his/her back under the table to color.  This activity is awesome for shoulder and core strength, which is really important for fine motor skills.  And kids usually are more motivated to color this way because it is so novel!

2. Make a munching monster

  • What you need: tennis ball, razor blade.
  • What to do: Have an old tennis ball laying around? Use it to make a munching monster! Cut a slit in a tennis ball to make a ‘mouth’ (adults only!).  If you have googly eyes, you can glue them on otherwise you can just draw some on.  Kids LOVE squeezing the monster to make his mouth open to eat a variety of items. You can use pom poms if you have them, or even cheerios or beads.  Students especially love when he eats too much and ‘gets sick’ and all of the items fall out of his mouth.

3. Use fingers to peel food

  • What you need: food items – clementines, string cheese.
  • What to do: Anyone else have kids who are constantly hungry?  Next time they are, ask them to peel their own food!  I have found that clementines and string cheese can be  a good challenge for little fingers.

4.  Tape and chalk art

  • What you need: painter’s tape and chalk.
  • What to do: Tape a design with painter’s tape, and then color the sections with chalk.  Then let the child peel off the tape for great fine motor work!

5. Make your own puzzle

  • What you need: Cereal box, scissors, marker.
  • What to do: Cut the front off of a cereal box.  Draw lines on the back and then cut out the ‘pieces’.  Have fun putting them back together like a puzzle!

6. Stringing straws

  • What you need: Straws, scissors, string.
  • What to do: Cut straws into small pieces and use them like beads!  Use a flexible string for more of a challenge and a pipe cleaner to make the task a little easier.

7. Spaghetti and cereal towers

  • What you need: Playdough, spaghetti, cereal.
  • What to do: Put the playdough on the table.  Stick spaghetti into the playdough. Stack cereal (cheerios or fruit loops) on top to make fun towers!

8. Playdough designs

  • What you need: Playdough, toothpicks.
  • What to do: Flatten out the playdough and have the child stick toothpicks all over!  For extra fun, have the child try to make letters, lines or shapes with the toothpicks.

9. Egg carton snacks

  • What you need: Egg cartons, small snacks like goldfish.
  • What to do: During snacktime, place one cracker in each slot and have the child reach into each egg slot to pick a cracker up.  This is awesome for pincer grasp development!

10. Q-Tip painting

  • What you need: q-tips, paint, paper.
  • What to do: Cut q-tips in half, dip them in paint, and create designs!  This is awesome for developing proper grasp patterns.

Have fun!  Drop a comment and share your ideas too!

This blog is for informational purposes only.  Please supervise children appropriately. Please contact your OT for specific recommendations.  


  1. These are great. I would love this as a PDF so I can download and share it with my parents.

  2. Yes, a PDF would be great!

  3. I’d recommend clicking print and then ‘save as pdf’. It will save the whole blog post as a PDF! 🙂

  4. Extremely informative, yet simple. My little ones will be happy with these fun ideas….thank you.

    • Happy to hear! Thanks for reading!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *