What Works

Learning Centers – Fine Motor



In my last post I told you about  how learning centers have brought some peace and added value to second grade in our homeschool . If you haven’t read that post, I suggest starting there to see the tips I shared for making it a successful habit in your own homeschool.

When you’re ready to start compiling your centers, here are some ideas that have worked for us in the fine motor category.

Fine Motor Learning Centers

  1. Playdough

The beauty of playdough is that it can be adapted to so many different applications. Learning about insects? Have your child sculpt an insect that includes all of the major parts like head, head thorax, abdomen, and three pairs of legs. If your kids are learning about Ancient Egypt, a child could sculpt some pyramids or the inside of a tomb. It’s also fun to strew some fun add-ons like googly eyes, stamps, or body parts from Mr. Potato Head.

This lynx was inspired by a lunchtime nature documentary.

playdough cat



2. Push Pin Art

We begin our push pin art by coloring in the picture. Elementary classroom teachers talk about doing this center on a carpeted floor of the classroom, but since we have hardwood floors in our school area, I purchased a small corkboard at Target’s Dollar Spot to have on hand for this center. The child holds the pushpin with a pincer grasp and pushes through each dot to create tiny holes that will look really cool against a window when the project is complete.



You can find several push pin art files at Teachers Pay Teachers. There are some freebies, but here’s the download that contains the art you see in photo came from.


3. Magnatiles Christmas Tree

Put this one in your pocket for when the holidays roll around. Magnatiles are always fun, but throw in some small-ish jingle bells from the craft store for an added element of magnet fun.

It’s been a while since we’ve done this one (hence the lack of photo), but I’ll definitely be hauling it out again this winter as a learning center.

In the meantime, click here to see some photos from the And Next Comes L blog that will help you get into the spirit.


4. Pointallism Art


Let your child dabble in neo-impressionism with pointillism, in which paintings are composed of many, many small dots of color. All you have to do is set out a healthy supply of q-tips along a paint tray filled with tempera paints or another washable paint and show your child how to dip and dot on the paper. img_20170927_101007.jpg

A painting with falling autumn leaves, as my kids have done in the pictured artwork, works really well. Other great pointillism exercises for littles include painting a snowman in a snow globe (really cool on black paper), a field of spring flowers, or a rain shower.


5. Suncatcher Art

My kids love creating suncatchers. It takes a little prep time, but it’s not bad. The Kindercraze blog has some great step-by-step instructions here, and if you’re running low on ideas for simple shapes that you can cut out, she has a ton of great ideas. Now that my kids are getting older, they like making some of their own suncatchers. Here are the pumpkins we made this fall, including my son’s original jack o’lantern creation.



Do you have some fun fine motor learning center ideas to share? Tell us about it in the comments!


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