Boost Skills with 30 Fun Fine Motor Games for Preschoolers

34 Shares

Many preschoolers need some extra help building their fine motor skills, you know, the use and coordination of small muscles in hands and fingers to do things like grasping objects, using a crayon, and manipulating small items. Fine motor skills also play an important role in life skills and everyday tasks, such as opening containers and snack bags, buttoning, snapping, and zipping clothing.

I have some fun ways to help you out….GAMES.

Fine motor games for kids - a collage of fine motor game images.

Whether you’re a parent looking for fun ways to keep the little ones busy, a teacher or occupational therapist trying to make learning and fine motor skills activities extra exciting, or anyone else who just loves a good game, you’ll find that these games are a great addition to your arsenal of fun fine motor activities.

We’ve rounded up 30 fine motor games for preschoolers that’ll help you focus on fine motor development and control in a fun way.

Most of these games work well for kids from 3-6 years old. Feel free to adapt the games based on the specific needs of your kids. You will see that with regular practice, your kids will build their skills and become more confident.

I added several Amazon links at the bottom of this post to help you find materials faster. Just an FYI….the links are affiliate links. Here’s how it works….I may earn a small portion of your purchase, but you will not be charged an additional fee when you purchase from the link.

Why use Games to Work on Fine Motor Skills?

Using games to develop fine motor skills with young children is like sneaking veggies into their favorite meal—it’s fun and engaging, and they don’t even realize they’re learning! Kids who struggle with fine motor skills often avoid fine motor activities, but sometimes, the exciting and competitive nature of games is just the encouragement they need to work on those important skills.

Games are fun activities that provide a low-pressure environment where young children can experiment, make mistakes, and refine their motor skills through playful activities, ultimately fostering greater control and coordination.

Best of all, the best fine motor activities and games don’t have to be expensive or difficult to set up. Many are super simple.

examples of fine motor skills that games help with

Games are the perfect way to get little fingers and hands moving and grooving. Here are some examples of fine motor skills that you can work on with games:

  • pincer grasp
  • hand strength
  • grip strength
  • eye-hand coordination
  • fine motor control
  • bilateral coordination
  • manual dexterity
  • visual perception skills

Counting Dice Games

The most versatile fine motor game for preschoolers is counting games that use dice, but you can also use a spinner. For each of these games, kids take turns using a die to roll a number and then use a manipulative (beads, pom-poms, playdough or other everyday items) to count.

The game’s variations are endless and only limited to your imagination. With a simple switch of colors or different materials, you can make a seasonal or holiday game. Here are some simple ideas for different ways to create counting dice games with a fine motor twist.

Fine Motor Pipe Cleaner and Bead Game

Give each player a small piece of a pipe cleaner and some pony beads. Kids take turns rolling the dice or spinner to determine how many beads to add to their pipe cleaner. The first child to fill their pipe cleaner with beads is the winner

FIne motor game with beads on pipe cleaners with a dice - an example of fine motor games for preschoolers

Sticker Counting Game

Peeling and placing stickers is great for developing pincer grasp and working on eye-hand coordination. These versatile dot sticker strips can be used as a game board, and kids can place stickers on the strips as they roll their die.

caterpillar dot sticker printable strips with dot stickers and a die - a fine motor activity and fine motor games for preschoolers

Hole Punch Counting Game

I told you that the dot sticker strips are versatile, right? Well, you can also use them for a hole punch counting game. Get out your paper punches because kids LOVE hole punch activities, and they are great for building hand strength.

Instead of placing stickers on the strip, give your kids a hole puncher to add a hole to the circles along the printable strip. The first child who punches a hole in each circle on their strip is the winner.

hole punch fine motor game with dice and a red hole puncher

Push Pin Counting Game

Place the dot sticker strips on a piece of cork or foam. Give your kids a small bowl of push pins and they can poke them into each circle on the strip as they roll the dice.

Playdough Fine Motor Game

Give each player a ball of playdough and a ten-frame or a dot sticker strip to use as a game board. Kids take turns rolling the die or the spinner to determine how many balls of playdough to add to their ten frame. Encourage theme to roll the ball and then squish it on the ten-frame board. The first kid who fills all the squares on the ten frame is the winner.

A playdough and dice fine motor game.  A bird game strip is shown with ball of purple playdough on the printable strip.

If you want to add a fun twist to this play dough game, you can encourage kids to isolate and use a particular finger (like their pointer finger, ring finger, or middle finger) to smoosh the playdough)

Pom-pom or Cotton Ball Game with Tweezers or Tongs

I think some of the best fine motor activities are the simplest. The variations of this particular game are endless. Use a ten frame, a dot sticker strip, or even a plastic ice cube tray as a game board. Next, you need to supply your kids with some type of manipulative. Here is a list of suggestions:

  • pom-poms
  • cotton balls
  • mini erasers
  • counting bears
  • beads or baubles
  • a ball of crumbled construction paper (before you begin, give them a piece of paper to help you make the balls!)

Finally, provide your child with a tool to help them move and place the manipulative onto their game board. Here are some tools that you can use:

  • tweezers
  • tongs
  • training chopsticks
large plastic children's tweezers with dice, pom poms, and ice cube trays

Rubberband Counting Game

Give kids a section of a can or a pool noodle. A Pringles can is the perfect size for this. Next, give them bowl filled with 20 rubberbands. After rolling the dice, kids can stretch the rubberband around the noodle. The child who adds all of their rubberbands to their noodle first, is the winner.

Hair Ties on a Popsicle Stick Game

Want a fun twist on the fun activity above? Instead of using rubber bands on cans, you can have your kids add hair ties to a popsicle sticks as the play a game.

rubber band hair ties on popsicle craft sticks with dice - an example of a fine motor game for kids

Clothespin Clip Games

Using clothespin clips is a wonderful way to work on pincer grasp and bilateral coordination with younger kids. Give your kids a piece of cardboard or a paint stir stick and 20 clothespin clips. Kids can add clips to their stir stick as they take turns rolling the dice. The first child to attach all their clothespin clips wins the game.

Clothespin clips on a large wooden craft stick with dice - an example of fine motor games

Wanna switch things up a little bit, dig into your office supplies and use binder clips or paper clips instead of clothespin clips.

Building Blocks Game

Give each player 20 unifix cubes or Duplo building blocks or bricks. As they take turns rolling a die, the kids can build a block tower.

Scavenger Hunt Game

Hide a number of mini erasers, plastic bugs, or other manipulatives around the room and then send your kids out on a mission with a small bowls and tweezers in hand to find them. Tell them that they can’t touch the erasers with their fingers. They can use the tweezers to pick up the erasers and place them in their bowl. You can set the timer to see how many erasers they can find before the timer goes off, or you can require them to find a certain number before they are done.

You can also give your kids a dot sticker task card and hide different colors of dot stickers around the room. Kids need to find and apply a dot sticker of each color to their task cards.

Dot sticker scavenger hunt game - a dot sticker task card with different colored dot stickers on it.

Matching Games

You can add a fine motor twist to any matching game by asking kids to clip their matching activity cards together with a clothespin clip or binder clip.

Sensory Play Matching Game

Add your matching cards to a sensory table. Kids can fish through the sensory materials and clip the matches together with a clip, and the child with the most matches is the winner.

Card Games

Look for creative ways to make a regular card game into a fine motor activity. Let’s look at the classic game of Go-Fish. When kids collect four matching cards during the game, ask them to clip them together with a clothespin clip or a binder clip.

Stacking Cup Game

Making towers is a great activity for eye-hand coordination. You can have kids race to create a tower.

building a tower with green solo cups and paper plates - an example of a fine motor game for preschoolers

Tennis Ball Game

Here is a fun game from Differentiated Kindergarten. Carefully cut a slit in a tennis ball. When kids squeeze it it then opens up like a mouth. Kids can add beads or small objects as they roll the die.

Feed The Activity

There are a variety of Feed the Dog, Feed the Monster, or Feed Other Things games. Instead of using their fingers, encourage kids to use tweezers to move pretend food from a bowl to their mouths.

A feed the monster game

Fill the Bucket Relay

Squeezing sponges is a great way to build hand strength. This is a fun game to play with a group of 4 or more kids. The game uses water, so it’s best to play outside where kids will not slip and fall.

a child wringing out a wet wash cloth into a bucket

You will need two large buckets, two smaller buckets or plastic containers, and two sponges. Divide the kids into two teams. Fill the large buckets with water and place one in front of each team. Place the empty containers about 10 feet away so that kids have to run from their first bucket to their second bucket or container.

Provide some sponges and two smaller empty buckets. Kids can then take turns dipping a sponge into their water bucket, carrying their wet sponge to their designated empty bucket, squeezing all of the water into their empty bucket, and then passing the sponge to the next teammate for their turn.

The team who fills their bucket first is the winner. You can also make this a timed activity. Kids can race until the timer goes off, and then you can measure the buckets (clear buckets would work best for this) to see which team has transferred the most water.

Water Dropper Game

Now, you can do this activity on a much smaller scale by playing a relay game or race using an eyedropper, which is a great pincer grasp activity. Kids can water from a container to a plastic bottle cap. The game is over when the bottle cap is filled.

Squeezy Hot Potato

It’s fun to play hot potato with a circle of kids. To make it into a fine motor game, pass around a toy like a stress ball or eye-popping toy and make kids squeeze it before passing it to the next friend.

Fine Motor Games for Preschoolers from the Store

Are you ready to get started playing some fun fine motor games with your kids? Here are some of the printable activities pictured above. Click on the images to learn more.

dot sticker strip fine motor activity bundle
dot sticker task card bundle

Fine Motor Games and Supplies from Amazon

See, what did I tell you? You can use simple activities to work on developing a child’s fine motor skills.

In addition to the printable and DIY games and fun activities mentioned above, you can purchase many fun fine motor games for preschoolers. Here are some of my favorite games and tools to use for games.

Additional Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers

34 Shares