This February fine motor activity is a fun way to use an item you probably have on hand: cookie cutters! We used heart cookie cutters and beads to build fine motor skills in a fun and themed way. There’s a lot of learning that happens during activities with kids. We put together this Valentine’s Day busy bag activity as a way to practice fine motor skills and color sorting. It’s another Valentines Day occupational therapy activity that builds essential skills.
You’ll also love our printable Valentine cards for more fine motor work including writing, folding, coloring, and cutting.
Heart Busy Bag Activity
This sorting heart busy bag is a powerful way to improve in-hand manipulation skills. In-hand manipulation is a fine motor dexterity skill needed for tasks like managing clothing fasteners, using a pencil when writing, manipulating items like coins or beads, and more.
Valentine’s Day Busy Bag Activity
Busy Bag Activities are a great way to learn and play during quiet time or down time.
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We started with a big bin of beads and a few heart cookie cutters. I showed Little Sister (age 3) how to sort the beads by color into the hearts. She had a blast examining each bead and saying “Oh, this one looks pinkish! Oh this one looks purple-ish!”
Fine Motor Valentine’s Day Activity
Manipulating the beads in the big bin to grab certain colors works on some great fine motor skills. You need to pick up the beads with a pincer grasp (tips of the pointer finger and thumb) with fine dexterity.
Once she grasped a bead, Little Sister would “squirrel away” the colors into the palm of the hand. This transfer of beads from the tips of the fingers into the palm of the hand is in-hand manipulation(fingers to palm translation).
Manipulating small items like beads in this way works on the muscles of the hands and is a great way to work on pre-handwriting or handwriting skills. A child needs strength of the intrinsic muscles (the muscles within the hand) to manipulate the pencil and maintain endurance for writing and coloring.
More Fine Motor Heart Activities
The Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit is here! This printable kit is 25 pages of hands-on activity sheets designed to build skills in pinch and grasp strength, endurance, eye-hand coordination, precision, dexterity, pencil control, handwriting, scissor skills, coloring, and more.
When you grab the Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit now, you’ll get a free BONUS activity: 1-10 clip cards so you can challenge hand strength and endurance with a counting eye-hand coordination activity.
Find even more amazing Valentine busy bags
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Arrow Addition Matching Game // Mama.Papa.Bubba.
Felt Heart Garden // Powerful Mothering
LEGO Valentine’s Day Puzzle // Lemon Lime Adventures
Letter Match Memory Game // The Educators’ Spin On It
Printable Valentine’s Day Mix and Match Puzzles // Itsy Bitsy Fun
Printable Conversation Heart Number Book // Playdough to Plato
Conversation Heart Color Match // Preschool Inspirations
Valentine’s Day Math Busy Bag // Still Playing School
3 Low Prep Busy Bags // Lalymom
Plant Heart Garden // Best Toys 4 Toddlers
Tic Tac Toe // Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Valentine’s Day Number Matching // Coffee Cups and Crayons
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to email@example.com.