Ourdoor fine motor activity child picking flowers

My specialty is creating simple printable fine motor activities that you can quickly implement. And most of the time those activities are meant to be used at home or in a classroom, but it’s Spring. So, let’s it’s time for some outdoor fine motor activities.

Here in Western PA Spring peeked its head out for a couple of days but was quickly taken over by a cold front this week. We’re all anxious to get outside and go for a walk in the sunshine. Trees have their little buds, and the blossoms are going to be beautiful in the next couple of weeks. I just can’t wait!

Spring always makes me think of new beginnings. And what better time to begin a habit of fine motor play with your kiddo? Yes, there are lots of activities that you can grab from my shop for those rainy days, but let’s talk about some fun ideas for fine motor play outside too.

Outdoor Fine Motor Play Ideas

Ourdoor fine motor activity playing with sidewalk chalk
  • Grab the sidewalk chalk
  • Go hang on the monkeybars
  • Blow and pop some bubbles
  • Pick flowers (or pretty weeds)
  • Skip stones
  • Draw in the dirt with a stick
  • Climb the jungle gym at the park
  • Plant something
  • Play in the water
  • Build a sandcastle
  • Pin clothes to the line
  • Build a fort
  • Take nature pictures
  • Press leaves and flowers

There’s just no limit to the number of things that you can do to promote fine motor skills in the outdoors. Get on our list for some fun indoor and outdoor fine motor freebies every week. I’ll start you out with a simple flower picking activity that will get those little fingers moving with a fun outdoor activity.

The Importance of Gross Motor Play

I always say that one of the biggest mistakes we make when trying to improve fine motor skills is forgetting that there’s an entire person connected to those hands. It’s so important to not just focus on improving hand strength and coordination when boosting fine motor skills but to think about the rest of the body too.

Core strength is central to anything that we do. Without a strong core, your child won’t be able to fully participate in activities because a lot of their energy will be going to simply maintaining the required posture for that activity.

Girl climbing on monkey bars for some gross motor play

Improve core strength with activities such as:

  • riding a bike
  • playing in mud puddles
  • climbing
  • swinging
  • jumping on a trampoline
  • doing a scavenger hunt
  • relay races
  • simply going for a walk

For even more core strengthening exercises, check out this article from my OT friend, Amy, at Learn Develop Grow.

Improving Shoulder and Arm Strength

For improving shoulder and arm strength, a lot of the activities we already talked about will be beneficial. But my favorite and most effective strategy for improving shoulder, arm and wrist strength is to simply change up the position for some activities that you’re already doing.

Instead of sitting at table when coloring or completing a worksheet, try taping the activity to the wall so that you’re working on a vertical surface. Or have your kiddo lay on his/her stomach with the activity placed out in front so that the arms have to extend out to reach the task.

Child in prone position playing with blocks

You can also tape the activity to the underside of a child-sized table so that your kiddo reaches up to color or draw. This one of probably my favorite because it also feels like a little adventure for kids, like they’re playing inside a fort by being under the table. They’ll be having so much fun they won’t even realize how much benefit they’re really receiving from this simple change in body position.

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