Fine Motor Fabulousness!

So many kindergarten skills involve fine motor…..and fine motor can be so tricky to develop and strengthen. It involves more than cutting with scissors or holding a pencil properly. I try to sprinkle fine motor activities into our everyday learning as much as I can. We use playdough. tweezers, stickers, hole punches, and pokey pins as much as possible to strengthen the littlest muscles!

Students working on a pokey pin activity.


Another GREAT fine motor activity is Perler beading. This group of kindergarteners LOVES making Perler bead creations. Students have the option of using their fingers or a small pair of tweezers to place the beads. Creating with Perler beads also helps build hand-eye coordination and fosters creativity.

We also spend quite a bit of our Friday Fun time sewing! So far this year, we have sewn pumpkins and coasters. Our first project was a minky fabric pumpkin. Students used a running stitch to sew around a circle of fabric we had prepared for them. I put a series of black dots circling the fabric so the students knew where to place the needle next. Look how cute these turned out!

Today, students sewed festive pumpkin coasters. This was a multi-step sewing project, and I was very impressed with the students’ enthusiasm and focus on completing the project.

The kindergarteners are so excited about sewing that they asked if I could include it as a Choice Time choice. Time to plan some new projects!

October Morning Exploring Activities

Our Morning Exploring activities are taking exceptionally long to get through this year since the students have to do each one independently and without sharing materials. I am still using the “one day: Morning Exploring Activity and next day playdough” schedule with my kindergarteners, so I modified this month’s activities, making only seven. This means that it will take fourteen days for each student to get through each activity. Phew….it will be time for November before we know it!!

The October activities are colorful and have such fun manipulatives for the student to explore. And they teach a BUNCH of important kindergarten skills!

Activity 1: Roll one or two dice. Add that many flies to the spider web using tweezers. This activity is easily differentiated by giving students one, two, or three dice. It also helps strengthen fine motor skills by having students use tweezers to move the flies!



Activity 2: Beginning Sound Pumpkin Puzzles: Students dig pumpkins out of a sensory bin (fall colored dried noodles!). They find the letter that matches the initial sound of the picture shown.


Activity 3: Count and record pumpkins. Students take a numbered container, open it, and use the tweezers provided to count the number of pumpkins stored inside. They then write that number on their recording sheet. Activity 3 works on building number sense, strengthening fine motor skills, and writing numbers.

Activity 4: LEGO Brick Building Cards: Students choose a special thematic LEGO design and try to build! This activity builds hand/eye coordination, strengthens fine motor, and encourages creativity!

Activity 5: Tens Frame/Teen Number Match. While digging through another sensory bin, this one filled with birdseed and acorns, students search for teen numbers and the tens frames that match. They then link the matching cards together. Activity 5 focuses on teen number identification and building awareness and understanding of tens frames.


Activity 6: Monster Eyeball Number Sense: Students choose a number card and place the corresponding number of googly eyes into the jar. Students unclip the card to check their work. This activity helps strengthen number sense and fine motor skills.

Activity 7: Sticky Fingers! Students use mini stickers to outline a pumpkin. They then count how many stickers were used and record that number. Activity 7 strengthens fine motor skills as well as rote counting skills.


And the playdough activities…. so far students have made monsters and jack-o-lanterns. More fun to come!

Pumpkin Day!

We made lemonade out of lemons today! Usually, this is the day we take our first field trip of the year to our local pumpkin patch, Lane Farms. With field trips on hold right now, I wanted to make a special day where the kindergarten students still got to visit a pumpkin patch…only the pumpkin patch would be in the backyard of the school! I shared my idea with our class Room Parents, and they offered to deliver a load of pumpkins from which the children could each choose a pumpkin. The next step was for me to create a festive pumpkin patch. Thanks to Pinterest, I was inspired by fall decor and decided to paint some signs and build a pumpkin stand.

I found the instructions to build this stand on Pinterest…it uses two wooden craft crates and several other pieces of wood. My husband and I constructed it in less than 30 minutes…the best part is we added eye hooks to the sign, and now I can switch out the signs quick and easy!

Here is a sneak peek of the pumpkin patch before the students arrived:

And here is a video of the students coming to the patch!

I loved and appreciated how excited they were!


So I called today “Pumpkin Day” to create more excitement, and I was sure to plan lots of pumpkin-themed activities! In addition to choosing a very special pumpkin, students also made playdough jack-o-lanterns.

Students were introduced to the concept of estimation. I showed them a mason jar that I had filled with candy pumpkins and asked them to estimate or make a best guess of how many pumpkins were in the jar.

Estimation is SUCH a tricky concept, and often children struggle to take the risk of making a guess for fear that they will be incorrect. I was proud of how these students confidently approached this activity with 100% of them participating! To clearly demonstrate how many pumpkins were in the jar, I turned on my new document camera and, while counting aloud, arranged the pumpkin into columns of 10. This was a perfect extension to our math lesson yesterday, which focused on counting by tens! We soon discovered that the jar was filled with 72 pumpkins! The children were surprised that there were so many!

Students also received a very special pumpkin book today that organized their pumpkin learning!

We learned about adjectives during an activity where we brainstormed words to describe a pumpkin using the letters in the word pumpkin. It was hard work, but we came up with:

P: Pie

U: Umbrella (because the yellow flower looks like an upsidedown umbrella!)

M: Mushy

P: Plump

K: King Size

I: Icing

N: Nice

Another activity was for students to predict how tall their pumpkin is using unifix cubes. This prediction activity supported our pumpkin candy estimation activity as well. Once the students made and recorded their prediction, they took unifix cubes and built a tower, measuring the distance from the bottom of their pumpkin to the tippy top of the stem.

We also took a survey. How do you like to eat pumpkin? was the question I posed. I asked students to first write their answers using the sentence frame, ‘I like…” Then I called them up to the SmartBoard one at a time to record their response. Meanwhile, students recorded the information we collected in their pumpkin books!

We explored the pumpkins using our five senses. Can you guess which sense each group describes?

Finally, students listened to a pumpkin read aloud and then chose four facts to record. Some students chose to record what I had written, while others chose to record their own pumpkin information.

I’d say it was a very successful Pumpkin Day!


Friday Fun: Sense of Sight

Today’s Friday Fun activities had a sense of sight theme. Students made beautiful pony bead sun catchers. Not only is this another great fine motor building skill, it decorates the windows in our classroom so beautifully. First, students chose a color theme or pattern and placed their beads into a mini pie tin.

Next, I baked the mini tins in the toaster oven for about 20 minutes at broil. (I moved the toaster oven to an outside location first, as the melted plastic smells awful!)

After the beads were melted, they popped out of the pie tins so easily!

 Aren’t they stunning?

Our second sense of sight activity was to make a rainbow heart mobile. I instantly knew when I saw this craft that it would add the perfect touch of whimsy to our classroom.

They fit our classroom perfectly!