70 Fine motor activities perfect for mixed ages & Home Day Care.

 

Fine motor activities are so important to foster those emerging skills across all age groups, but often they have small parts or may not be suitable for younger children.

When your children are different ages or you care for a group of multi- age children in a home daycare setting, getting in those fine motor activities can present a challenge….especially if your younger ones don’t nap!

No need to worry, I’ve compiled a huge list of some of my favourite fine motor activities that can easily be modified to keep toddlers, preschoolers and even some babies happy!

At the end of the page you will also find more inspiration collected from some of my favourite Aussie bloggers!

Along the way I will offer some tips for modifying many of the activities, others are self explanatory.

If you want more information on any of the activities featured below just click on the photo to take you straight to the original post. Let’s get started!

Baster Squeeze & Paint

This is a recent activity after finding these huge basters marked down in our local Coles….squeezing and releasing can be a difficult concept but younger kids can join in the fun too….

Fine Motor Colour Mixing Fun - Mummy Musings and Mayhem
Try offering some spoons (big and small) and encourage them to scoop up the water paint and dump it onto the paper towel to make fun patterns too! This is the way Ruby preferred as her grasp is not as advanced as her twins’ and she finds the squeezing activities difficult.
Fine Motor Colour Mixing Fun - Mummy Musings and Mayhem

Poke and thread egg cartons

Older children can poke the straws into the holes and then thread the cardboard circles onto their creations…..
Egg carton fine motor fun
For younger children you can poke the straws in for them and let them have some fun trying to place the cardboard circles onto the straw or even just stack with them!
Egg carton fine motor fun

Balloon fishing

Such an easy activity to set up but one that will keep them busy and get those hands and wrists working.
For a challenge the children can try to scoop up the balloons with large plastic or wooden spoons….
Toddler water play easy
To make it a little simpler  you can hand out some strainers which makes fishing for balloons a lot easier!
Toddler fine motor water play

Toothbrush Painting

Toothbrush painting offers a different fine motor challenge for little hands…to make it easier simply use smaller kid size brushes and a large area as a canvas….

To make it a little more challenging use adult size brushes and smaller areas to paint. Outside provides so many options so don’t just stick to inside with plain old paper!

Shape stamping

These are my DIY shape stampers and they have chubby handles to make it easy for little hands to grasp….Stamping activities are always fun for any age though and a real favourite when you have a lot of different developmental levels to keep happy.

 

Foil paste and thread

Pasting small collage materials can be lots of fun for younger players and all that picking up small pieces, brushing on paste and sticking down can give the muscles and coordination a workout…..

Fine Motor Stick & Sew Mobiles - Mummy Musings and Mayhem

To make it a little more challenging why not punch some holes and get the older children sewing around their creations too.

Fine Motor Stick & Sew Mobiles - Mummy Musings and Mayhem

Blocks and loose parts play

A fantastic activity for all ages and one that can be changed easily with the addition of a few different materials each time.
Block play and loose parts

Coloured sand creations

Colouring sand and mixing the dye in can be enjoyed by all ages….a little glue and abstract masterpieces are just waiting to be created….wood makes a lovely change to paper as your canvas…

To challenge those developing skills encourage little hands to write in the sand or create pathways and pictures before making their own sand name with a little help of course!

Recycled roller bottle painting

Another easy one that’s fun for all ages….and costs you nothing!

Recycled fine motor fun

Playdough imprints and sensory fun

Playdough imprinting can be modified for all ages just by changing the size of your tools.  Adding some sensory materials can provide an extra challenge but still remain fun for younger kids.
Toddler fine motor activity
Toddler Fine Motor activity

Spaghetti & Meatballs game

The spaghetti and meatball game is such a favourite here….there are tongs to hold spaghetti and spoons to scoop up meatballs and balance until you reach the bowl…
toddler fine and gross motor game
Toddler fine motor game
But it is easily adapted for those that find this too difficult. Ruby enjoyed collecting some ‘meatballs’ with her hands and arranging them in the wooden bowls…it’s about the process and not sticking to the ‘rules’.
Toddler fine motor game

Scrubber Circles

Keep your eye out for these sort of things in your $2 shop. These scrubbers can be used with the hands to make some lovely prints….
70 fine motor activities perfect for multi age groups - Mummy Musings and Mayhem
Or with the handle to provide a different challenge and range of movement….

Water Play with Tongs

Use the tongs to pick up the blocks and other treasures….
Toddler water play

Or just play in the coloured water when it all seems a little difficult. provide a few jugs and cups and there is still some valuable pouring practise happening!
70 fine motor activities perfect for multi age groups - Mummy Musings and Mayhem

Pasta & Pom Pom Sorting

Fantastic fine motor fun for younger toddlers although I have seen preschoolers also enjoying this one with the addition of a few little jewels or marbles.
70 fine motor activities perfect for multi age groups - Mummy Musings and Mayhem

Foam block shape stamping

Fun for all ages…for an extra challenge older children can draw around the outline of their shapes once dry.

Easy first threading

Some toddlers can find it very difficult to get the hang of threading and doing the classic bead or pasta threading can actually prove quite frustrating as they learn to master the skill of pulling through.
This activity makes threading a little easier but is still a challenge…
70 fine motor activities perfect for multi age groups - Mummy Musings and Mayhem
To make things a little easier you can also set this one up and you have something that covers all ages.

3 easy favourites

3 of my absolute favourites!!
Toddler Fine Motor
Toddler Fine motor play
Simple but fun for all ages!
Toddler Fine Motor

Spice jar posting

A classic but one my 3 yr olds STILL like playing with! To add an extra challenge place a bowl of small cotton reels or beads close by and see who can thread them onto the pipe cleaners.
70 fine motor activities perfect for multi age groups - Mummy Musings and Mayhem

Spaghetti Stick Threading

Threading with a bit more of a challenge than those previously mentioned…Younger children will enjoy just sticking the spaghetti sticks into the dough.

Pasta Threading Towers

Using large and small pasta at the same table activity gives all ages a chance to join in and create….
70 fine motor activities perfect for multi age groups - Mummy Musings and Mayhem
70 fine motor activities perfect for multi age groups - Mummy Musings and Mayhem

Cotton bud painting

Fun for all ages…paper towel helps to soak up any of the paint spills made by over exuberant younger children.
70 fine motor activities perfect for multi age groups - Mummy Musings and Mayhem

Outdoor Chalkboard Fun

The humble chalkboard allows any age to freely create and explore no matter their current developmental stage.
70 fine motor activities perfect for multi age groups - Mummy Musings and Mayhem

No mess chalkboard painting

As does this version of water painting on the chalkboard….this time using shaving brushes.
70 fine motor activities perfect for multi age groups - Mummy Musings and Mayhem

Sticky Paper Collage

One of my all time favourites for multi ages….babies love this and I have seen school age kids enjoy making intricate little masterpieces too!
70 fine motor activities perfect for multi age groups - Mummy Musings and Mayhem

Sorting with pebbles and baskets

So many ways to use this activity…babies and toddlers can pick out favourites to fill their basket and then tip them out to start all over again.
Preschoolers can sort pebbles by number, colour or patterns….all the while using those little fingers to pick up and place materials exactly where they need them.
70 fine motor activities perfect for multi age groups - Mummy Musings and Mayhem
I hope some of those activities helped you to see just how easy it can be to modify fine motor activities to include all ages in your care.
Here’s some more inspiration from some of my favourite Aussie bloggers. Do stop by for a visit, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Laughing Kids Learn

 

Learning to Play and Playing to Learn

Danya Banya

Octavia & Vicky

The Craft Train

My Little Bookcase

Childhood 101

 Learn with Play at Home

A Little Learning for Two

Just for Daisy

Triple T Mum

Picklebums

An Everyday Story

Racheous

Wildlife Fun for Kids

Now that should keep you busy for awhile….I’d love to hear about your own favourite fine motor activity, be sure to leave your comment below so we can try it out!

Looking for more ideas, inspiration and support? Join early childhood professionals from all over the world in…

The Empowered Educator Community.

8 thoughts on “70 Fine motor activities perfect for mixed ages & Home Day Care.

  1. Oh my gosh so many activities! It’s amazing how much you can do with everyday items you already have in the cupboard. The kids will never be bored again 🙂

  2. Amazaballs. My kids are going to love some of these brilliant ideas and resources. Thanks Jode for sharing it’s much appreciated. 🙂

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