Fine motor strengthening is a hot topic when it comes to back-to-school time. Kids go back into the classroom and need to get back up to speed on all of the fine motor requirements in the classroom. What better way to work on fine motor strength than with a Fall apple theme? This apple themed fine motor activity adds a bit of math, too and it’s super easy to create for hands-on play, learning, and fine motor work.
Fine Motor Strengthening Activity
This apple tree activity is a fun way to build the intrinsic muscle strength of the hands as well as gross grasp strength. It’s an easy activity to throw together, and the steps of the activity help to build strength of the hands, too.
Materials needed to make this apple tree activity:
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To create the apple tree, cut the green felt into a tree-ish shape. Cutting felt is a complex scissor task, so older kids can help with this part. If you are able to use stiff felt, cutting through the material is a strengthening exercise in itself.
Next, cut the brown felt into a trunk shape, by simply cutting strait lines. Consider allowing the child to cut the trunk shape as cutting strait lines on a material such as felt is easier, yet the flimsy material makes it difficult to cut. A stiffer material would work well for this part as well.
Next, cut the red cardstock into small, thin strips of paper. This is not necessary for the end result of the activity, however there is a fine motor benefit to the extra step. Kids can hold the thin strips of paper with a pincer grasp using their non-dominant, helper hand. Using the small strips of paper requires precision. Kids will then be required to slow down while using the hole punch so that they don’t cut the holes over the edge of the strip of the paper.
Need a hole punch that requires less effort for younger kids or those who need to build their gross muscle grip strength? Try this one.
Use the brown cardstock to make a small apple barrel shape. This can be used in the math part of this activity.
A slower cut with the hole punch allows for the muscles of the hands to exercise with prolonged tension and increases blood flow. Using the hole punch with slow repetitions builds gross grasp strength.
Once the apple tree and apples are created, kids can place them on the tree. The cardstock will not stick permanently to the felt, but they will stay in place for temporary play. Scatter the red cardstock circles, (those are your apples!) onto the table. Show your child or student how to pick up the apples and place them onto the apple tree. Picking up the small cardstock circles is a real workout for the intrinsic muscles of the hand.
To make this activity easier, place the cardstock circles on a piece of felt.
Apple Math and Fine Motor Activity
Add a bit of math to this activity with a pair of dice. Show your child how to roll the dice and then count the number of dots on the dice. They can then add and count the number of apples and place them on the tree.
There are several ways to build on this activity:
Use the dice to add apples.
Subtract by taking away apples from the tree.
Create multiple step math problems by adding and them subtracting the numbers on the dice to put on and then remove apples.
Looking for more apple activities? Try these:
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Letter Matching Apple Tree Activity // Mom Inspired Life
Apple Lacing Fine Motor Bag // Coffee Cups and Crayons
Kindergarten Math Activity: Apple Matching Game // Schooling a Monkey
Bobbing for Apples Fine Motor Activity // Stir the Wonder
Write and Wipe Math Cards | Bobbing for Apples // Science Kiddo
Apple Life Cycle Printable Book // Stay at Home Educator
Apple Number Match // A Dab of Glue Will Do
Apple Life Cycle Hat // The STEM Laboratory
Fine Motor Strengthening Apple Activity // Sugar Aunts
Apple Tree Counting Puzzles // The Kindergarten Connection
Apple Shape Matching Game // Life Over Cs
Oatmeal Apple Crisp: A Recipe for Kids // Liz’s Early Learning Spot
Apple Addition Write and Wipe Cards // Playdough to Plato
Johnny Appleseed Apple Coverall Games // Recipe for Teaching
Apple Play Dough Surprise Activity // Play & Learn Every Day
Apple Counting Book // Fun-A-Day
Balancing Apples Up on Top // Sara J Creations
Apple Seed Counting Busy Bag // Powerful Mothering
Apple Alphabet Puzzles // The Letters of Literacy
Apple Subitizing Cards // The Simplified Classroom
Editable Apple Sight Word Game // DIY Farm Wife
Apple Tree Busy Box // Teach Me Mommy
Apple Ten Frames // Still Playing School
Tracing Letters Printable Apples // Modern Preschool
CVC Spelling Mats // Fairy Poppins
Apple Color Matching Activity // Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
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