How to Strengthen Fine Motor Skills with Modelling Clay
Fine motor ability is essential for the development of handwriting skills, and is supported with activities that help strengthen and coordinate kids hands and fingers. Modelling clay is flexible, yet holds its shape, making it ideal for fine motor practice such as rolling, cutting and stacking. In this activity kids can make soup, create circles or build towers with modelling clay and straws.
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Modelling clay is firmer than regular play dough so more finger strength is required to squeeze and mold the clay. This is a great hands-on activity for developing hand muscles and coordination.
Supplies for fine motor play:
- plastic straws
- modelling clay
Learning through play:
- Cut straws in various lengths, then roll out strips of clay to match.
- Arrange the different straw lengths in a clay base from tallest to shortest.
- Make circles with strips of clay and stack them on the straws set into a clay base.
- Cut up straws and clay to make spaghetti or soup, using jar lids for plates and bowls.
This activity combines creativity with engineering and fine motor and sensory play.
You can introduce it as a quiet time activity that will keep kids busy while you prepare dinner, or invite kids to play with modelling clay indoors on a rainy day.
The added benefit is knowing kids are strengthening muscles they will use for handwriting.