Working on pencil grasp? Or are you looking for a fresh fine motor activity that builds pencil grasp in kids? This slime fine motor activity is just that. It’s a fun and messy way to strengthen fine motor skills needed for a functional pencil grasp…using slime! You may have read the title of this blog post and thought “What does slime have to do with a pencil grasp activity?” Well, this slime activity sure does meet the requirements for fine motor activities that double as pencil grip activities. Read on!
Do you have kids that are still loving slime? We’ve made a lot of slime activities in our days, including a slime exercises, a great way to build hand strength in a fun way. We’ve even practiced handwriting using cursive letter beads for our cursive letter slime activity. One of our favorite slime activities was cutting it with scissors as a scissor skills activity.
When it comes to working on writing and pencil grasp, however, some of these activities play a part in building a better pencil grasp. Slime is a great way to work on intrinsic hand strength and fine motor skill development. If you’ve ever played with slime, then you might know why.
Slime has a consistency that is a pretty sticky. It sort of molds to itself and spreads at the same time (weird, right?) so that when it’s near the edge of a table, it spreads and then strings down to the floor in a long strand. (Which if your table is over a rug or carpet, grab that carpet cleaner!)
Slime Activity to Build Fine Motor Skills
This slime idea uses any slime recipe. You can find tons of homemade slime recipes online. We made homemade slime when we made a slime writing tray, but this activity focuses on strengthening the fine motor skills needed for skills like pencil grasp, manipulating items like buttons and snaps, or other functional tasks.
This activity uses regular slime just two materials. Here are Amazon affiliate links so you can set this activity up:
Slime- Make your own or use a slime kit
Small Container– Use one with a lid. A smaller-sized container requires a smaller space to manipulate with the hand, providing a strengthening opportunity.
To set up this slime hand strengthening activity
Use slime to work on fine motor hand strength
- Place slime into a container.
Use a reusable food storage container such as a Rubbermaid food storage container. This allows the activity to be used over and over again.
- Add clear marbles to the slime.
Students can press the marbles down into the slime using one finger. This is a great finger isolation activity. Read more on what finger isolation is and why this important fine motor skill matters so much.
- Move those marbles!
Use the fingertips to find and locate a marble in the slime.
Once you find a marble, use the fingertips to pull it out of the slime. Pulling a marble from the slime requires strength, but also works to improve that hand strength. Because the slime is in a smaller container, the arches of the hand/intrinsic hand muscles have to work to maintain grasp against the pull of the slime.
- Remove slime from the marbles.
This is the messy part…in a good way! Use the fingertips to pull and remove slime from the surface of the marble. This is another way to strengthen and improve endurance as well as dexterity in manipulating with the fingertips.
- Do it again!
Once you’ve located all of the marbles, press them back into the slime. This is a great hide and seek activity that can be passed on to another client or to use in the next therapy session.
Grade this Fine Motor Strengthening Activity
You can adjust this activity to make it harder or more resistive for those building their hand strength. It can be downgraded as well to make it easier for those needing an easier fine motor activity.
Adjust the resistance of the slime- add more liquid to make the slime easier to manipulate. You could experiment with adding other materials to hold the slime, making it easier to remove from the marble. Some ideas include foam balls, glitter, flour, or other materials. This collection of slime add-ins is a good way to experiment.
Add resistance by leaving the slime exposed to air for several hours. This will make the slime more rubbery and harder to manipulate.
More Slime Pencil Grasp Activities
Working on the fine motor skills needed for a functional pencil grasp doesn’t need to be boring and predictable. Using slime to work on these essential fine motor skills can make pencil grasp tasks fun. We’ve used beads with cursive letters as a slime add in to help with fine motor skills. Kids can use beads like these ones to find and then remove the slime to work on those pencil grasp strengthening skills. Then, practice copying the letter. Extend the activity by asking them to write a word that starts with that letter. The options are endless with an open-ended slime activity like this one.
Want to Take pencil grasp to the next level?
Join our free, 5 day pencil grasp challenge! We’re talking all things pencil grasp with fun and easy activities designed to build a better pencil grasp. Join in on the fun!