Every year, I say that the number of students lacking fine motor skills continues to grow. Some of this I attribute to the increased use of technology. Our little learners are spending less and less time holding a pencil, coloring with crayons and cutting with scissors. And, they are spending more and more time swiping the screen with their fingers. These December fine motor activities work well for morning work, fine motor tubs or math and literacy centers. Plus, I’ve included a FREE fine motor sorting activity perfect for your math rotations!
December Fine Motor Activities
I, personally, like to begin each day with fine motor morning tubs. This is a great time to sneak in a little extra fine motor practice!
Plus, I can easily tame the morning chaos…
So that I can focus on the daily morning tasks of taking lunch count and attendance, answering parent questions, collecting notes, comforting students… you know all those many hats we wear as soon as the school bell rings!
Switching from paper and pencil morning work to these fine motor tubs has been a total game changer in terms of engagement!
When the kiddos come into the classroom in the morning, they know to make their lunch choice and to get started on their fine motor morning tub.
They love these hands-on activities! Little do they know they are also practicing letters, sounds, rhyming, CVC words, number recognition, counting, addition, subtraction, subitizing, and so much more!
December Fine Motor Activities for Counting and Number Sense
Peeling stickers is another great way to practice precise pincer grasp. Use dot stickers, or any other kind of stickers, as ornaments on the tree for this activity.
Although paperclips can be a bit tricky for young children, they are a fantastic fine motor tool to add to your collection. Students can use the paperclips to make the correct number of stripes on each candy cane.
Rolling, pinching and stretching Play-Doh to make ornaments and trim the tree is another way to improve fine motor development.
Use mini clothespins to help strengthen little fingers, as they squeeze and clip the ornaments in numerical order.
Picking up and placing small buttons on the gingerbread man requires a great deal of fine motor control.
December Fine Motor Activities for Patterns and Shapes
Pattern Blocks are an excellent tool for building visual-spatial relationships and eye-hand coordination, which are both an important part of building fine motor skills.
December Fine Motor Activities for Addition
Unifix Cubes can be used as presents under the tree, as students practice addition skills and fine motor control.
Another way to practice addition and promote fine motor development is by using small buttons to create each number bond.
December Fine Motor Activities for CVC Words
Chain Links are a wonderful tool to help strengthen little hands and fingers. Students can build CVC words by linking the letters together.
Students can also practice building fine motor skills and identifying middle sounds by clipping the correct vowel on the tree.
December Fine Motor Activities for the Alphabet
Use mini clothespins to squeeze and clip the beginning or ending sound.
Write letters on clothespins, and have the students match upper and lowercase letters.
Use chain links for building fine motor development, as students link the letters together to make an “alphabet train.”
Chain links can also be used to help Santa sort the gifts.
December Fine Motor Activities for High Frequency Words
Practice color words by squeezing and placing the correct color pom pom (or button) on each light. If you do not have tweezers, clothespins also work well for strengthening finger muscles.
Use fine motor control to place the colored craft sticks on the pictures, trace the words and read the sentence.
Students can unscramble each word by hanging the stockings on a piece of string or jute twine.
December Fine Motor Activities for Syllables
Practice counting syllables, as students roll and smash Play-Doh.
More Fine Motor Activities
Don’t forget to grab this FREE “Sort the Lights” fine motor activity at the end of this post!
Use these holiday play dough mats during your classroom holiday party to help improve fine motor control!
Continue to strengthen those fine motor skills during the holiday season with these FREE “Feed the Reindeer” fine motor activities!
Plus, your students will enjoy these fine motor activities for the 100th Day of School!
DON’T FORGET IT… PIN IT!