If you are doing bird activities with kids, then this play dough bird activity is going to be a hit. It’s a free printable play dough mat that helps kids strengthen their hands for fine motor tasks. Grab this bird play dough mat to work on hand strength and improve fine motor skills with a bird theme! This would be a fun activity to use with colorful crayon play dough.
Sometimes, adding a motor component to a leaning theme can be a strategy to help kids learn through play while boosting the fine motor skills they need for tasks like holding a pencil grasp, having endurance in coloring and writing, and improved dexterity in pencil control, which plays a big part in fluid and legible letter formation. We’ve previously covered the specific fine motor skills play dough activity can support.
This bird theme play dough mat is a free printable that you can print off and use over and over again to work on hand strength such as intrinsic muscle strength kids need for these tasks and other fine motor skills.
Play Dough BirdS
You may have seen some of the other play dough mats we’ve shared recently. Our free printable play mats included (so far): an Astronaut Play Dough Mat, Outer Space Play Dough Mat, and an Ice Cream Play Dough Mat. (Links to these free play dough mats are at the bottom of this blog post.)
You may want to grab the original intrinsic muscle hand strengthening play dough mat that we’ve had on the site for some time. It’s a basic sheet of circles in various sizes, but the exercise is perfect for really working those intrinsic muscles!
The play dough bird mat shown here is a fun and easy way to help kids develop hand strength and endurance. Kids can roll small balls of play dough using the tips of their fingers and match the different size play dough balls to the different birds on the printable playdough mat.
Scroll to the bottom of this post to access this freebie.
Why Use a Play Dough Mat for Hand Strengthening?
Play dough mats are a powerful tool in strengthening fine motor skills and hand strength. However, the ones that we’ve created so far really boost those intrinsic muscles of the hand.
The intrinsic muscles are those muscles whose origin and insertion are within the hand. That is, they are anchored to the bones in the hand and move the joints of the hand in delicate and precise ways.
These include the thenar muscles, the hypothenar muscles, the interossei, and the lumbricals.
Using play dough to strengthen the hand muscles is as simple as rolling small balls of various sizes with just the tips of the fingers and the thumb. It’s important to use just one hand when doing this activity to really work those intrinsics.
Play Dough Bird Activity for Kids
Enter your email below to grab your printable play dough mat and play along with a bird theme while getting in a hand workout! Kids can count the birds on the mat, use a specific color of playdough that matches the colors of the birds, or many other activities. They should fill each circle with a small ball of play dough that they’ve rolled with their fingers. There are various sizes on the playdough mat to challenge precision and dexterity.
Try some of these ideas with your bird play dough mat:
- Match a different color play dough to the different colored birds
- Fill all of the blue birds, then all of the yellow birds…
- Write numbers in the circles in random order. They can then scan across the play dough mat to challenge visual perceptual skills.
- Use the right hand to roll play dough balls for the circles on the left side of the playdough mat and use the left hand to roll play dough balls for the circles on the right side of the playdough mat.
- There are so many ways to play and use this play dough mat for learning and play WHILE strengthening fine motor skills!
Want to strengthen the muscles in the hand to improve pencil grasp, scissor use, coloring, or fine motor coordination and endurance?
Grab this FREE printable Bird themed play dough mat to help kids strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the hands! You’ll also receive weekly emails that are loaded with resources and tools promoting the healthy development of kids.
Enter your email address and click the button below to get your free printable play dough mat to improve hand strengthening:
Looking for more play dough activities that kids can use to boost the fine motor skills they need for all sorts of tasks?