As the leaves begin to change colors and fall, and the pumpkin spice everything is in the air, it’s a great time of year to add some fall fine motor activities to your therapy toolbox or even just add to play! Try a few of these fall fine motor activities to encourage and strengthen fine motor skills, a tripod grasp, fall activities for preschoolers, fall ideas for toddlers, or fall occupational therapy activities!
Be sure to check out our Fall worksheets designed to build fine motor skills, our Fall leaves slide deck, and our free Fall Sensory Activities booklet, all at the bottom of this post. These autumn worksheets and info packets are activities designed to build skills and celebrate the season through sensory experiences. The activities in this free booklet are a fun way to encourage fine motor and gross motor movement and development through fall activities. Scroll to the bottom of this blog post to grab your copy!
Fall Fine Motor Activities
These fall fine motor activities are ones that boost the skills kids need for tasks like pencil grasp, managing clothing buttons and other fasteners, manipulating small items, opening containers and so many other fine motor tasks! Enjoy the season of Fall with a fine motor twist!
1. Crunch leaves
– This is a seriously satisfying activity, according to my kids! Read more about using the season’s finest splendor in a Fall Leaves occupational therapy activity
that can be used to work on auditory processing, sensory play, bilateral coordination, crossing mid-line, and fine motor skills like arch development, grasp strength, separation of the sides of the hand, and more.
2. Fall leaf play dough-
Add fall fun to play dough with this Fall Fine Motor with Play Dough
. It’s an easy way to encourage small hands to develop the strength needed in the intrinsic muscles of the hands as they manipulate play dough with a few extras from the season. Use a fall scented play dough to add to the activity.
3. Scissor work- Cut Leaves with Scissors
. If you live in an area with colorful fall foliage, use those leaves to work on scissor skills! Kids will love to cut leaves into small pieces or snip shapes from leaves. Make art with the leaves by gluing them onto paper or just snip and cut! We worked on line awareness by adding lines to our leaves, but you could just work on snipping leaves in half or cutting around the edges. If you are in an area without colorful leaves that fall this time of year, just use paper leaves or whatever you’ve got in your area.
4. Visual motor skills-
Use Fall Leaves to work on Pre-Writing Lines
and Visual Motor Skills. This is a fun way to work on visual motor skills needed for pre-writing tasks like forming and copying shapes and letters. Kids can work on crossing mid-line and the eye-hand coordination needed for writing, all using colorful fall leaves. This activity would work with acorns, seeds, or other small seasonal items too.
5. Fine motor leaf craft-
This Fall Leaves Craft
uses leaf shapes to work on bilateral coordination, tripod grasp, eye-hand coordination, and more as kids create a seasonal fall craft. This fall craft may be better for older kids, but it’s a great introduction to sewing too.
6. Hand strength with leaves-
There is just something about punching holes in leaves! Really boost that hand strength by Punching Holes in Leaves with a Hole Puncher
. This activity uses fall leaves to strengthen the gross grasp of the hand while creating leaf confetti. Kids can pick up and manipulate the leaf holes to really work that pincer grasp. Glue the small circles onto a paper to along a line to promote more eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills.
7. Stamp art-
This Pumpkin Stamp Art
is an old craft our our website that really boosts fine motor skills with a fall pumpkin theme! Kids can create stamp art with a paper towel tube or toilet paper tube while working on skills like grasp and precision of grasp, crossing mid-line, and arch development. This is a great craft for a small group or for a therapy caseload to complete with various graded components based on individual needs.
8. Fine Motor Apple Tree-
This Fall Fine Motor Apple Tree Activity
is another fall fine motor activity that uses a hole puncher to really boost hand strength and gross grasp. Punching holes with a hole puncher allows kids to strengthen their hand strength while encouraging skills like bilateral coordination and eye-hand coordination.
9. Fine Motor Apple Seeds-
A Fall Fine Motor Apple Seed Activity
can be just the thing for toddlers to practice eye-hand coordination needed to scoop and pour objects. This activity encourages pincer grasp, in-hand manipulation, separation of the sides of the hand and other fine motor skills like precision of grasp. What fun!
MORE Fall Fine Motor Activities Kids will LOVE…
Fine Motor Pumpkin Craft-
A fall fine motor craft like this Thumbprint Pumpkin Craft
can be a powerful tool to promote separation of the sides of the hand, finger isolation, as well as strength and dexterity of the radial or precision side of the hand. This precision of the thumb that occurs in thumbprint fine motor crafts is especially important as distal thumb flexion can be helpful in dexterity in a tripod grasp when holding a pencil.
Precision Grasp with Sunflower Seeds
– Ahhh, sunflower seeds are a tool that can be used in so many fall fine motor activities for kids! From the pincer grasp needed to hold them to the in-hand manipulation necessary to manipulate them within the palm, sunflower seeds are a creative and fall festive way to encourage fine motor strengthening and development this season! Kids can make this Fall fine motor Sunflower Craft
and really boost those fine motor skills with a fall craft that will look great hanging on the wall!
Dexterity with Pumpkin Seeds-
There’s another seed this season that plays a big part in the development and strengthening of fine motor skills! Pumpkin Seeds! Pumpkin seeds can be used to improve dexterity, grasp precision, in-hand manipulation, arch development, grasp strength, and so many other areas. Use food coloring or liquid watercolors to dye pumpkin seeds after they’ve been scooped out of a pumpkin. (Get the kids in on that fine motor task, too!) The, use those colored pumpkin seeds to scoop, sort, drop, pinch, and play while building fine motor skills. You can find the directions to color pumpkin seeds and read all about why and how this activity helps kids build fine motor skills in our Fall Fine Motor Activity with Colorful Pumpkin Seeds
THEN, use those colored pumpkin seeds to extend the fine motor fun even more by creating a Fine motor Fall Suncatcher
that kids can make and hang on a window. Let the kiddos get in on hanging the suncatchers because working on a vertical plane is an awesome way to strengthen the core and proximal shoulder/shoulder girdle which is oh, so important for fine motor tasks!
In-hand manipulation and coordination fun-
One more way to address fine motor needs this fall is to save up those bread ties. The plastic bread ties that you find on loaves of bread or items like bagels are great for manipulating and strengthening fine motor skills. Kids will love this Bread Tie Ghosts Fall Fine Motor Activity
where kids can manipulate and manage bread ties while strengthening fine motor skills this fall!
What are your favorite fall fine motor activities for kids?
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Want this free slide deck with a fall leaves theme? Work on visual perceptual skills and handwriting. Get it here:
Fall Activities Booklet
Work on fine motor skills this Fall AND address sensory needs while experiencing all that the Fall season has to offer! Grab your free copy of the Fall Sensory Experiences Booklet to create sensory diet activities that meet the needs of individuals in a Fall-themed way! Enter your email address below and you will find the Fall Sensory Experiences Booklet delivered right to your inbox. Enjoy!