Preschool Fine Motor Skills: Sensory Tub

Fine motor development is essential to a young child being able to do so many things in his or her future. Some of those activities include using scissors, weilding a writing utensil, and even playing an instrument. There are many excercises to help develop finger muscles and finely tune that "pincer grasp".

We worked on fine motor today by playing with our Sensory Tub. (Which is just a shoe box sized plastic tub with something the kids can feel and touch with their hands - in our case, rice.) I try not to use food in art, but this rice has been in the cupboard for a while, so we used it today. I put miniature erasers in the rice (WARNING: not for children under 3!!), gave the kids tongs (manipulating those is what helps strengthen muscles) to hunt for them and they loved it. And when they were done, they plunged their hands into the rice for some touchy feely goodness!

Other great fine motor skills from around the web:
Folder Weaving with Yarn
Teaching Tiny Tots: Ladybug Sensory Tub
Kids Love Learning

Playing with playdough, clothespins, lacing cards, lacing beads, or transfering one object from one place to another are just some of the other simple ways you can incorporate fine motor development into your everyday play!


  1. I keep meaning to do this, but keep feeling a little worried about the mess factor. I know it's a great skill though, so I just need to plunge in.

  2. Love your great ideas...my guy loves using the children's kind of chop sticks with mini marshmellows- from one tub to another. Thanks for your great mommy tips.