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fine motor outdoors

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by chalkie_bunny, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Hi
    I am at a bit of a loss. My class are VERY outdoorsy and have fairly poor fine motor skills. Does anyone have any great fine motor activities that can be done outside?
    Thanks in advance
  2. Hi.
    I'm finding the same with my class and have tried/ will try the following activities:
    -Weaving a fenced area (trellis or that builders fencing will do the job)
    - using large chalks (also helps GMS) on the play ground
    - making pictures with leaves and small objects
    - painting with water (bricks, floor, anything really!)
    - sand and/or water tray using twizzers and small objects to retrieve things
    - collecting some natural materials and get the children to tie them to a piece of string to make mobiles
    - making mud faces using fingers!
    - wedding/gardening using hands only

    I hope some of these give you some ideas!
    Good luck
  3. one of our favourite activities is dried rice in the tuff spot with an assortment of containers for transferring/filling - the most popular are small bottles - milk shake/fruit juice etc but the real favourites are empty food colouring bottles that they fill up and make potions when they are playing scientists! some cheap shops sell sets of small clear bottles for taking shampoo etc on holiday - they are fab as well.

    we put tweezers/training chopsticks etc in as well
  4. I got mine from a parent who's a vet! He had millions of plastic ones (perhaps, slightly safer option).
  5. Thanks everyone. Sorry to hijack the thread.
  6. Hi Chalky Bunny
    Your children are really lucky that you recognise their need to be outdoors. A common issue with both fine and gross motor mark making outdoors is to make the engagement level high enough to get the children (especially some boys) to do it!
    Here are a couple I have tried that worked...
    Make your own chalk with the children and then get them to use it outside. It is really easy!
    Plaster of Paris and powder paint is all you need.
    Mix the plaster of paris and the powder paint together (more paint, more intense colour) add waster until the mixture is about as thick as double cream.
    Pour into a mould and leave for about 3 to 4 hours.
    Then it is done.
    TIP: make sure you can get the chalk out of the mould! I have done it with lolly makers to make chalk on a stick or take the stick out and put a loop of string in the top of the lolly maker instead and you get chalk on a rope that they can hang round their wrist. You can buy silicone moulds in the shape of rockets, footballs, stars and hearts to name but a few.
    Children who are developing their gross/fine motor need to develop the muscles in their upper body, but also something called 'low load control' which is the shoulders ability to support the arm when we write. One of the best ways of developing that is large scale artwork outside on a vertical surface. Use large sheets and paint rollers to get the big movement.
    Tie a paintbrush to the end of a bamboo cane and have your paint pots on the floor get the chidren to dip in and then paint on the floor or wall from a distance. Really helps with control.
    If you want to do playground markings this works really well for that too as you don't have to bend all the time to do them, just put some washing up liquid in your paint to help the rain to wash it away.
    Cover any outside structure - climbing frame, clothes horse with clear builders plastic. Get the children to paint it from inside and out. It is a brilliant experience to be painting the top of the plastic while someone else is opposite painting the underside. Then get as many children as you can inside and turn on the hose and let them watch the magic of thier paint running away.
    Squeezy bottles with diluted paint (and a bit of washing up liquid) for squirting patterns/letters on the ground.
    Spray bottles with diluted paint (squeezing action good for fine motor) and a white sheet on a vertical surface to create grafitti, fireworks etc.
    Paint in the pouring rain (preferably in bare feet). Wait for a REALLY rainy day and then set up your paint and paper outside in the thick of it. As the children paint nature takes its course and does some colour mixing, not to mention some changing of materials right before your eyes! Why bare feet? Why not? It adds to the experience, excitement and level of engagement! (Just make sure you have done your risk assessment first - if that is what keeps the management happy!)
    The list goes on....
    Hope this helps a bit. I have loads more ideas on my blog if you are interested

  7. I like the idea of making chalk but we are not allowed to use plaster of paris due to the possible burning injuries when it naturally heats up - how do you use it to ensure this doesnt happen? There were several cases (one particularly severe) some years ago where children were permanently scarred
  8. Seem to be lots of cheap tweezers on Ebay
  9. My children like searching for tiny things ( pincer movemnt to pick up!) to fit into matchboxes/ yogurt pots etc. We have a challenge to see how many things they can fit in so there's a bit of counting going on too. Surprising how the season changes the collection.
  10. thanks everyone some lovely ideas


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