Here is one more simple Christmas fine motor activity for kids that we’ve been doing at work and home this month! I love it because it targets a variety of fine motor skills while also being very easy to adapt for kids of a wide range of ages and ability levels.
What you’ll need: Piece of white paper, green paper (construction paper, card stock is best since it’s thick), and other colored paper to use for decorating the tree
How you make it: Draw the outline of a basic Christmas tree on the piece of white paper. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Trust me. If you truly feel you are not skilled enough to do this, then just draw three overlapping triangles that become progressively larger from the top of the page to the bottom.
Give your child a piece (or strip) of green paper and show her how to tear the paper. This may be quite the tricky task for her so be patient, offer demonstrations, and help her out if needed. Emphasize that she should use her fingertips (use those pincher fingers!) and place her hands pretty much right next to each other rather than far apart. I’ve seen several kids try to tear paper by grabbing it with their fists and pulling and pulling and pulling, but to no avail. They get frustrated and annoyed. That’s why it’s important to help your child practice using her fingertips with her hands next to each other while grasping the edge of the paper.
Okay, after she’s torn the green paper into a bunch of small pieces, show her how to squeeze glue onto the white paper and then stick the tiny pieces of paper onto the gluey surface. This craft requires repetition, so once she gets the hang of it, she can go just go for it! And once she has turned the tree green, she can then choose paper colors to tear and turn into ornaments or other decorations (garland? star?) for the tree. Before you know it, she’ll have created her own unique version of a Christmas tree! Let the project dry and help her display it proudly on the fridge or a designated “Look What I Made!” wall space around the house.
How it helps fine motor skills: Your child will learn to precisely use her fingertips with a pincer grasp rather than her whole hand in order to effectively tear the paper into pieces that are small enough for this activity. She will also learn how to make her hands work together in order to complete the paper tearing task (something called bilateral coordination). If she uses a glue bottle, she will have the opportunity to strengthen her hand and finger muscles. If she uses a glue stick, she will have the opportunity to practice holding the glue stick with her fingertips much like she holds a crayon.
You can make this activity easier by: Tearing notches in the paper before your child tears it so it’s easier for her to pull and tear; giving her pre-torn pieces of paper and showing her how to stick them on the already gluey paper.
You can make this activity more challenging by: Using thicker paper or card stock for tearing to increase resistance; drawing dots all over the tree so that she must aim and stick the torn pieces of paper on the dots; making the tree bigger so it requires more repetition (which means more practice with tearing); having your child squeeze the glue onto the paper and then spread it around with a paintbrush; taping the paper onto an easel or wall (basically, a vertical surface) in order to provide increased opportunities for shoulder and wrist strengthening while working against the force of gravity.
What age it’s good for: Toddlers through elementary age, depending on how you modify.
Check out this list for more Christmas Fine Motor Activities for Kids:
Christmas Tree Sponge Painting
Cotton Balls and Q-Tips Snowman
Santa Fine Motor Craft
Reindeer Fine Motor Craft
Christmas Activities for Kids board on Pinterest