Fine Motor Activities with Playing Cards

Working on fine motor skills with kids doesn’t need to require the same old items every day. Recently, we’ve been sharing creating ways to promote fine motor skills with everyday items. Today, you’ll find fun fine motor activities with playing cards. We all have a deck of cards in a drawer or game closet…here are creative ways to use those cards to build the skills kids need for functional tasks like pencil grasp.

For more fine motor activities with everyday objects, try these fine motor activities using craft pom poms.

Work on fine motor skills using fine motor activities with playing cards to improve the functional grasp for pencil control and handwriting.

Fine Motor Activities with Playing Cards

Working on fine motor skills? Here are just a few ways that a simple item like l=playing cards can be used to promote fine motor areas like bilateral coordination, finger isolation, in-hand manipulation, arch development and intrinsic hand strength, and other areas.

Add a deck of playing cards to your STEM fine motor kit, too.

Playing with cards can be a great way to increase several fine motor skill areas:

Separation of the two sides of the hand- When holding the string, it is useful for the ring and pinkie fingers to bend into a fist in order to stabilize the hand.  This positioning is effective for a functional grasp on the pencil when writing. In this way, lacing cards boost fine motor skills as a pre-writing tool. 

Check out these easy ideas to address motoric separation of the hand.

Visual Motor Skills- Coordinating visual information with motor movements of the hands is essential for handwriting, cutting with scissors, and many other tasks.  Manipulating lacing cards is an excellent way to address these needs. 

Read more about visual motor skills.

Motor Planning- A motor plan is functional execution of a task which is viewed with the eyes and carried out with the hands in order to complete tasks, such as mazes, walking around obstacles, cutting along a line, and writing within a space on a form.  Visual motor skills can be difficult for children with visual processing difficulties.  Identifying and organizing information is in a motor plan works on problem solving skills.  

Read more about motor planning activities for kids.

Pincer Grasp:  Manipulating cards with a pad-to-pad grasp is a fine motor skill children need for many functional tasks.  Picking up small items like coins, beads, seeds, etc require a pincer grasp.

Eye-Hand Coordination: Eye-hand coordination is using the information received through the vision system to coordinate the hands with control, in order to complete a task, such as handwriting or catching a ball. Find more hand eye coordination ideas here.

FUn Fine Motor activities with playing cards

  • Clip clothes pins onto match numbers
  • Make the cards into mini lacing cards with a hole punch and some string.
  • Sort cards by color
  • Sort cards by number
  • Write words on cards and math to handwriting tasks
  • Create a coping strategies deck
  • Invent yoga moves for each card or suit in the deck. Use as a movement break activity
  • Slide paper clips onto cards, match the number of clips to the number on the card
  • Work on holding the cards and spanning them out in the hands
  • Encourage picking up one card as you can. Make it a card race! Pick up a single card as fast as you can. This is a great team activity
  • Play minute to win it games 
  • Turn the cards into crafts
  • Fold cards and crease to work on pinch strength
  • Use play dough to create a house of cards. Roll balls of play dough and stick cards into the dough
  • Teach kids to sort the deck as in beginning a card game
  • Work on mixing the deck with two hands
  • Pinch a single card between the thumb and pointer finger. Toss the cards into a target such as a basket

More fine motor activities

Love using regular, everyday items to boost the skills kids need? Here are a few more ideas you will love:

Print off some of these free cursive alphabet cards to work on fine motor skills AND cursive letter handwriting.

Make your own lacing cards to really boost up the fine motor work!