Fine Motor Precision Math Engineering Activity

This fine motor activity is one that works on the super small motor skills of the hands.  We’ve shared tips and ideas for building precision of grasp and release before, and this is one more way to build those skills, with a math and engineering twist.  This is a fine motor math activity with major benefits.

If your kids are anything like mine, then they love blocks.  If I pull out a bin of blocks, then we’ve got ramps, castles, and houses all over the living room floor.  They are an imagination booster and it really is so much fun to see where the creativity goes with just a bin of blocks.  The OT in me loved this activity for it’s creative math twist and for it’s fine motor power punch!

You might also want to check out our math maze activity for more hands-on math fun.

What is precison of grasp and release?

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Precision handling of very small items with controlled movement is necessary for dexterity in functional grasp.  To manipulate items with small motor motions, the hand needs to be in a functional position.  The index and middle digits must oppose the thumb with tip-to-tip finger contact and interphalangeal joint range of motion.  opening and closing the grasp on items with control is precision and allows the hand to grasp small objects from a refined area and enables the hand to release objects in a specific location.

Precision in of grasp and release allows us to pick up a specific colored bead from a tray of many colors and place it on a string.  We used foam blocks and small balls of clay to practice precision of grasp and release.

Fine Motor Precision Activity

Rolling balls of clay develops the intrinsic muscle strength of the hands.  It opens up the thumb web space and encourages flexion of the interphalangeal joints in the fingers.  Once we had rolled a collection of small clay balls, we used them to work on precision grasp and release with the foam blocks.

One area that my kids have discussed in both kindergarten and second grade this year is the term vertices.  We talked about the number of vertices on different shapes and placed a small clay ball on each vertice.  Carefully placing the clay on each corner required precision to pick up the clay and to place it precisely on the corner.

Math Engineering Activity

Once we had each corner covered with clay, we thought it would be fun to engineer a tower.  It was fun to explore the different ways we could build the towers using graded controlled movements to prevent the whole tower from falling.

This was such a fun exercise in fine motor skills and one we’ll be doing again!

Looking for more learning activities with foam blocks?  Try these:

Roll a CVC Word Game from Mom Inspired Life

Sticky Foam Blocks from Teach Me Mommy

Making Ten Math Activity from School Time Snippets

Foam Blocks Stacking Activity from Something 2 Offer

If you liked this activity, you’ll love these: