This little fine motor board stems from an idea I had a few months back when I observed how much the toddler group attending my family day care service were enjoying playing and creating with washers and bolts whenever I brought them out.
As most toddlers do they also have a love of trying to figure out how things work and putting things on and off. So I thought I would extend upon those interests and make up a simple board that would also challenge their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
I'm simply calling it a fine motor board….pretty clever huh? Yes I know it's not that exciting but hey at least you know what I'm talking about!
Now I'm pretty sure you don't need my instructions to make one for yourself but let's take a wander through the process just in case you have a question or two and frankly I took some photos so I have to show them somewhere 😉
Tara thought it was great fun to help me find them and then pick out the ones she thought were the perfect match. And doesn't she have just the perfect outfit for the job? Love that kid's individual sense of style!
The wood we used is pretty rough as it was just recycled pallet timber so it needed a little sanding and then some clear lacquer over the top. We did try some old stain we had on one of the boards but it was too dark so the others just got some lacquer over the top to give them a nicer finish and protect them from the weather as I will be using them outdoors as well as indoors. You could of course add a stain of your choice but this project was all about using what we already had and the only leftover stain we had was too dark for this project!
It really doesn't matter where you place the hooks, I used a few different sizes and tried to leave enough room for small fingers to maneuver .
Once you have the hooks where you want them all you need to do is add a little bowl of washers that can be placed on the hooks. I also added some bolt nuts to provide an extra challenge.
Try to include different textures and sizes to encourage and support problem solving and sensory exploration.
At the moment I am just leaning the boards against the wall or some rocks outside so they stand upright and slightly back but I intend to add a few screws to the back so I can add a rope for hanging. Either way works!
However they choose to play with the board you know they will be strengthening their fine motor and problem solving skills as well as challenging their hand/eye coordination and understanding of the concepts big and small and spatial awareness.
A Little About Me
Jodie Clarke is an early childhood professional supporting educators who want and need to stay passionate about the work they do! She has 30 years hands-on experience in the early childhood and human services sectors across many different roles.
Jodie is mum to 3 in Australia and has already helped thousands of educators with their work through her popular blog posts, activity ideas, online training and e-books.