Episode 24: Fine Motor With Freschi

In Episode 24, Amy Van Hoose and Peyton Freschi discuss fine motor skills for our youngest learners.  Whether you are a parent of a student in kindergarten or you have a child getting ready to go to school for the first time, you will want to tune in to this episode for some helpful tips.

Peyton Freschi is a kindergarten teacher at Silver Creek Elementary. She graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2015 with a Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education. This is her third year of teaching and she is excited to be a part of the Triad District. She currently lives in Troy with husband. Go Knights!


What are fine motor skills?

Fine motor skills are the ability to make movements using the small muscles in our hands, wrists, and fingers. Kids rely on these skills to do key tasks in school and in everyday life.

How will students use fine motor skills at school?

Fine motor skills aren’t specific learning skills like reading or math are, but they directly impact how well kids are able to learn and show what they know. For instance, kids need fine motor skills to circle an answer in a bubble on a test or write an essay or response.

Kids need to use fine motor skills to do many school-related tasks. These include:

  • Holding a crayon or pencil
  • Drawing pictures and writing neatly
  • Stacking blocks and stringing beads
  • Using scissors, rulers and other tools

How can parents help at home?

You have probably been helping your child develop fine motor skills from a young age.  Even your child’s tummy time as an infant was working to develop the muscles that would be needed to master fine motor skills.  There are so many ways to practice fine motor skills at home. Adding a few things into your daily routine will help your child be successful in school.

  • Use crayons, markers, and pencils at home often.  Start with a thicker marker or crayon and gradually start to use smaller writing instruments.  Around the age of 4, you can start to work on a tripod grip that will be used in kindergarten. Check out these videos: method 1 and method 2.
  • Have your child help you open and close lids in the kitchen.
  • Threading and lacing with a variety of sized laces and beads.
  • Tongs or teabag squeezers to pick up objects (e.g. put marbles down a marble maze).
  • Manipulation games such as ‘Pick up Sticks’ and ‘Connect 4’.
  • Construction: that requires pushing and pulling with fingers (e.g. ‘Mobilo’, ‘K’nex’ or ‘Lego’).
  • Storing construction materials in jars with screw lids that need to be opened and closed as the materials are needed and when packed away.
  • Make things using old boxes, egg cartons, wool, paper, and sticky or masking tape.
  • Set the table
  • Hold knives, forks, and spoons to eat
  • Pour juice into a cup
  • Wipe the table with a sponge
  • Help with meals—stir, shake, chop, cut, and mix
  • Get dressed—button, zip, snap, buckle, and fasten
  • Use Velcro tabs
  • Open and close containers with lids
  • Cut with child-safe scissors
  • Finger paint
  • Use a paintbrush
  • Play with playdough and clay—roll, smoosh, pat, pound, and use tools like popsicle sticks or stamps
  • Draw, scribble, or write with crayons, pencils, and markers
  • Put together puzzles
  • Place pegs in a board
  • Build with small blocks
  • Play board games
  • Play with puppets



99 Fine Motor Ideas for Ages 1 to 5

99 Fine Motor Activities presents fun, engaging ideas to involve the fine motor muscles in your child’s hands, fingers, and wrists. Ten talented moms come together to share the most successful, creative, and inspiring invitations to play that they set up for their own kids to get those little hands working!Your child’s hands develop and change so much in the first years of life. From chubby newborn fists that can barely open to infants reaching for your face as they coo to toddlers self feeding and stacking blocks, soon you will have a preschooler learning to cut, write, and turn the pages of a book!

  Cut and Paste Vehicles

Does your child like to cut and paste? Is your child obsessed with all the things that go? Then this book will be perfect for practicing their scissor skills while cutting and pasting cars, trucks, boats and more!This book is not for beginners. However, if your child has already learned how to hold scissors and cut paper, then this book will help build on those skills. Depending on your little one’s scissor skills, this book will be perfect for kids ages 3 to 7. There are 20 vehicles to cut out and paste. everything from a taxi cab, to a fire truck, to a rocket and more. Just cut out the parts of a vehicle and then paste them on a blank sheet of paper. Enjoy and have fun!

Fine Motor Fun: Hundreds of Developmentally Age-Appropriate Activities Designed to Improve Fine Motor Skills

Facilitate fine-motor development in special-education students in pre-kindergarten–grade 1 using Fine Motor Fun! This 160-page book is full of suggestions and reproducible activities that strengthen fine-motor and visual-perception skills. It includes scissors skills, lacing cards, stencils, finger plays, stringing activities, dot-to-dots, tracing, finish-the-picture activities, mazes, and tactile and first-pencil experiences. The book supports NCTE and NAEYC standards. Key Education products are intended to engage and educate young and special learners, as well as assist teachers in building a strong and developmentally appropriate curriculum for these children. The product line—comprised of teacher/parent resource books, photographic learning cards, and other activity- and game-oriented materials—is designed to assist in “Unlocking the Potential in Every Child.”


Here are the tying your shoe videos we promised from the podcast.  **Tying shoes usually comes between ages 5 and 7 and requires quite a bit of fine motor control

Here are some great toys to promote fine motor development


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