Easter Fine Motor Activities for Developing Pencil Grip Foundations

If we want our children to improve their fine motor skills and pencil control for handwriting, they have to be on board.  We cannot do it to them.  We cannot “fix” the foundation skills for handwriting for them.  They have to be part of the process.  But more than that, they have to fully embrace the activities we use.  If they are having fun and engaging looking forward to a meaningful outcome or end product, their skills will advance far more quickly than if they are taking no responsibility for the process.  This is why Easter themed fine motor activities are so valuable to us.  By carefully structuring Easter fine motor activities, we can develop strength and build in the missing patterns of movement to develop our children’s pencil control for handwriting.

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Why do we need specifically designed fine motor activities

As soon as we perform any activity with our hands, we are using fine motor skills.  The small muscles in our hands, along with the supporting structures up our arms and from our bodies are what enables us to perform tasks.

So if we are using our hands all the time why are our techno kids fine motor skills so underdeveloped?  You have heard the expression “use it or lose it.” It is rather like this with fine motor skills.  Our children need exposure to a wide range of fine motor manipulative experiences to fully develop their hand strength and all the muscle groups.

However, if this exposure is limited by a lot of time spent pointing and swiping on the phone or tablet, they do not get the chance to develop all these muscles and movement patterns.  And slowly but surely, they find ways to perform their fine motor tasks with the muscles and movements they have available to them.  This is a downward spiral.  Simply because the more these underdeveloped muscles aren’t used, the more they become weaker.

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It is with these missing movement patterns and muscle strength that our children enter school.  And suddenly the gaps begin to make the acquisition of school related tasks way more difficult.  They find ways to compensate for the weak muscle groups and missing movements.  This is why we see so many creative pencil grips!  Our children are trying to find stability to perform more complex tasks like writing.  They find ways to “fix” their pencils into static positions in their hands.  This is a problem because so often these positions result in them having to initiate writing movements from their wrists, forearms and elbows.  Enter specifically designed Easter themed fine motor activities.

Building in fine motor gaps to movement

Once there are gaps in movement patterns we need very specific activities to strengthen the underlying muscle structures and to build in the missing movement patterns.  If we are looking for Easter themed fine motor activities that are going to develop specific muscles and movement patterns you have arrived at the right place!

Easter fine motor activities

These activities are all carefully designed to target the manipulative skills we are looking for.  They still embrace the excitement we are looking for from Easter fine motor activities, but they require of our children to use the specific muscles and movement patterns we need for improving pencil control for handwriting.

One of my favourite Easter fine motor activities has been inspired by Kandinsky’s circles.  Only we are using egg shapes and scissors, rather than crayons as he did.

I like thick lines for our children to cut their Easter themed fine motor activities.  I know the grading should be to move from thick to thinner lines and I do agree, but I am not a fan of the cutting lines getting too thin.

When we keep the cutting lines wider, our children do not have to worry about being so precise in order to stay on the line.  When we do this, they are more able to achieve an even flow of the cutting motion.  With this fluid cutting stroke, those muscles are being targeted over and over again.  And repetition of the specific movement we are looking for is going to develop the muscles for pencil grip.

Get going with our Easter themed fine motor activities

  1. Start by grabbing your download.
  2. You need to copy each of the different sized egg shapes on a different colour.
  3. I have added extra egg shapes as they get smaller so as not to waste paper.  However, you only need one of each. The extras can be for other children, or you can even have a go yourself!
  4. Following the rule of always cutting to the scissor side of the shape, your child can cut out the eggs.
  5. Organise the cut outs into size order before getting busy with the gluing.
  6. And there you have a stunning Easter egg that has specifically targeted the muscles for pencil grip!

Heather from Growing Hands-on Kids has put together a comprehensive list of 20 Easter activities so do pop over and take a look!

In closing about Easter fine motor activities for pre-schoolers

We can embrace the excitement of Easter bunnies and eggs to specifically develop weak muscles and missing movement patterns.  Our techno kids need Easter activities that are going to target the exact movements we are looking for.

©Bunty McDougall
Occupational Therapist

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