Fine Motor Toothpick Activity

This toothpick activity requires only one item: a toothpick container found at the local dollar store. Typically a toothpick container is filled with toothpicks and has a few holes in the removable lid, making it a great fine motor tool for children. This occupational therapy activity is used because you can target many precision skills and finger dexterity in kids. Let’s check it out…

toothpick activity

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Toothpick Container Activity

I’ve had a toothpick container in my therapy bag for many, many years. While we don’t actually use the toothpicks in their traditional use, we do, use the toothpicks in a fine motor activity that kids seem to love!

First, look for a holder that has small holes in a removeable lid. Amazon (affiliate link) has a three pack with color coded lids which would be great for sorting colored toothpicks.

Next, place toothpicks on the table and show the child how to pick up one at a time and drop them into the holes of the lid.

Use this basic activity in many ways:

  • Play pick up sticks
  • Roll a dice and pick up that many toothpicks. Drop them in the holes of the container.
  • Set a timer and place as many toothpicks in the holes as possible
  • Hide toothpicks in a sensory bin. Pull out a toothpick and drop them into the holes as they are found.

What other ways to use this toothpick container activity can you think of?

Fine Motor Toothpick activity

What skills are we working on here?

Talk about an easy set- up and great fine motor dexterity task…
 
toothpick activity for kids
 
Picking up those tooth picks from the table surface is perfect for a fine motor neat pincer grasp. 
 
Putting them into the little holes of the container works on a tripod grasp and extended wrist. 
 
Holding the container with the non-dominant hand is great for establishing a stabilizer hand (supporting the paper when writing).
 
 
toothpick holder activity for kids
 
 

More Toothpick Activities

  1. STEM Towers: Challenge your child to build towers using toothpicks and marshmallows. There is power in fine motor STEM! This activity promotes precision and hand-eye coordination.
  2. Pincer Grasp Practice: Encourage your child to pick up toothpicks using only the tips of their thumb and index finger in a neat pincer grasp. They can transfer toothpicks from one container to another, enhancing their fine motor control.
  3. Build letters: Use toothpicks to shape letters of the alphabet. Your child can place the toothpicks on a flat surface to form letters, improving their finger dexterity and control.
  4. Counting and Sorting: Have your child count and sort toothpicks into different groups based on length, color, or other criteria. This activity develops counting skills and promotes attention to detail. One way to expand this activity is to use a marker or paint to color the toothpicks or use (Amazon affiliate link) colored craft matchsticks.
  5. Geometric Shapes: Challenge your child to create geometric shapes, such as squares, triangles, or hexagons, by connecting toothpicks. This activity sharpens spatial awareness and fosters creativity.
  6. Playdough Poke: Make a playdough snake and then use the toothpicks to poke along the play dough. This threading exercise improves hand strength, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor control.
  7. Toothpick Art: Encourage your child to create miniature sculptures or artwork using toothpicks. They can connect toothpicks with glue or build structures, allowing their creativity to flourish while refining their fine motor skills.
  8. Sensory Play: Combine toothpicks with sensory materials like kinetic sand or rice. Your child can bury toothpicks in the material, dig them out, or create patterns and designs. This activity provides tactile stimulation and enhances finger strength.
  9. Fine Motor Mazes: Draw or print mazes on paper and use toothpicks as a stylus to navigate through the maze. This activity strengthens hand control and precision movements.

Plus, you can use the toothpicks in the toothpick art found in our seasonal Fine Motor Kits:

Working on fine motor skills, visual perception, visual motor skills, sensory tolerance, handwriting, or scissor skills? Our Fine Motor Kits cover all of these areas and more.

Check out the seasonal Fine Motor Kits that kids love:

Or, grab one of our themed Fine Motor Kits to target skills with fun themes:

Want access to all of these kits…and more being added each month? Join The OT Toolbox Member’s Club!

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