5 Activities that take less than 5 minutes to set up

Today’s blog is all about activities that can be completed at home or in the preschool environment that are inexpensive and take less than 5 minutes to set up.

  1. Washing dolls clothes

394cebee56f601f934f28f6e465d0195Children love playing with bubbles. Why not combine this with some fine motor activities that aim to strengthen the smaller muscles in the child’s hand. Fill up a large tub with water. Use some dishwashing liquid for bubbles. Put all the dolls clothes in a washing basket, tie up some string for a clothes line and have some pegs handy. Children will manipulate the clothes and then have to use their strength to squeeze the excess water out. They will hang it on the string and use their pincer grip to attach a peg. Kids love water, mess and fun. This activity has all three elements. Make sure you keep an eye on them as water can pose a danger.

2. Building towers

0f0c2793e597ed284da8e933f784429aPut a variety of objects in a pile and tell your child to go and experiment building towers or whatever they want with the objects. The objects could include cardboard boxes, sponges cut up, tupperware containers or paddle pop sticks and play-dough. Children will learn about how structures work, patterns that you can use and using their small muscles in their hands to manipulate small objects. After they have made some towers, get them to try making a city, farm, airport or what ever their imagination can come up with.

3. Cardboard Box and washable texta

Toddler-Art-ActivityChildren love drawing, especially on themselves. This is a great one for them to experiment with using a tool to write with. A texta is a great tool as it is thicker than a pencil and helps children develop their small hand muscles. A box will be a success for you as it contains your young one and their mess. Make sure the texta is safe for children and is easy to wash off.

4. Matching lids and containers

090554357c8fd9bdeee3396dae944ae6Take all the lids off their containers and mix them up. Have your child try and work out how to put them all back together. You can do the same thing with small containers that have a screw top lid. Children love taking the lids on and off and matching the correct lid with the container. This activity would be targeted for a child over the age of 3 years. Screwing lids on and off can be a difficult skill at first but with practise they will master it.


5. Washing dishes

5eb364c1ceb51bac368140553dea7bd8Give the child some water, a scrubbing brush, sponge, some play plates, cutlery, cups, containers and chopping boards and let them make mess. Give them a tea towel to dry the dishes after they are washed.




As a mother, I know how important time is. These activities all take less than 5 minutes to set up but can give your child hours of fun while learning important concepts at the same time. Why not try one of these activities each day to see which one your child engages with the most.

Until next time …

Kelly Pisani

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30 Ways To Develop Fine Motor Skills: Early Intervention Matters

Welcome to my next blog in the series, Early Intervention Matters. In this blog I have complied a list of 30 activities that will help children develop their fine motor skills.

Fine motor skills are small movements that are achieved by using the smaller muscles in the hands. Some of these skills include cutting, doing up buttons and handwriting. Highly developed fine motor skills will influence the speed and accuracy of the task performance.

Why are fine motor skills important?

Fine motor skills are very important for children to be able to successfully complete many everyday tasks. These tasks include dressing themselves, opening lunch boxes and writing. Children who have good fine motor skills are generally more confident in their own abilities and have the appropriate independent life skills compared to children who have underdeveloped fine motor skills.

Fine motor skill difficulties can present as:

  • Avoidance
  • Misbehaviour when it comes to particular tasks
  • Inability to use scissors
  • No interest in pencil skills

According to “Therapies for Kids”, Occupational Therapists can work with children of all ages and their families, to help enhance skills necessary for their everyday life including playing, getting dressed and handwriting. Occupational therapy may also include making changes to the child’s environment such as their school or home to help the child be more independent.

Below is a list of 30 activities that will help children to develop their fine motor skills. These are all inexpensive activities that only require items that can be found around the home. These activities would be great for children to complete at home or in the classroom.

1. Using a water spray bottle







2. Putting straws in a colander







3. Cutting different patterns






4. Threading fruit loops on pasta







5. Dropping pom poms down tubes






6. Making a felt button chain

Felt Button Chain 9






7. Using a pipette to drop water on lego holes






8. Balancing lego on the side








9. Putting toothpicks in small holes






10. Pouring from one container to another






11. Sticking beads into play dough and getting them out with a pincer grip






12. Putting elastics on a container







13. Using an eye dropper








14. Picking up objects with pegs







15. Putting paper clips on paper or plastic






16. Balancing marbles on golf tees








17. Putting buttons in a small rectangular hole (also you can put money into a piggybank)







18. Opening padlocks with keys







19. Threading shoelaces and tying them up






20. Putting different lids on bottles and containers







21. Drawing while laying on the ground







22. Feed a tennis ball some food






23. Using a hole puncher






24. Peeling stickers off








25. Cutting up play dough sausages






26. Putting nuts and bolts together






27. Weaving pipe cleaners on a drying rack






28. Threading with nature







29. Name dot painting with cotton buds






30. Mashing play dough






These 30 ideas will help children to be engaged and enthusiastic towards developing their fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are essential for your child to be able to perform everyday tasks. If you have any concerns with your child’s fine motor development seek an opinion from a qualified paediatric occupational therapist.

Please share this blog if you have found it insightful and if you believe it offers practical information that you can implement at home or in the classroom. Remember to email a copy of it to yourself for reference later on.

Until next time … 30 ways to develop fine motor skills

Kelly Pisani

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