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Do you have a little scientist at home? I do! Plus, I also need to find ways to encourage fine motor skills without worksheets. The solution? Fine motor science activities that are great for preschoolers. My son has never been into the more traditional fine motor or craft activities, so I had to hunt for new ways to work on fine motor skills that would be lots of fun for him. Check out these easy to set up science activities that will develop fine motor skills.


Non Traditional Preschool Fine Motor Activities

Writing, mark-making, line drawing, coloring, painting, cutting, and gluing have never been delightful for my son. That’s ok because we have been working on his emerging pencil grasp with many other activities. I am pleased to say that he has an excellent tripod grasp when I watch him use his pencil or draw pictures these days.

We practiced fine motor skills daily through our play activities, from making things erupt to launching erasers to making the ice melt.

No worksheets are required!

I paired his love of fun science experiments and the need for fine motor skills practice into easy fine motor science activities I could set up quickly at home. He’s an old pro with an eyedropper, tongs, and a squirt bottle.

Science requires excellent fine motor work, patience, and perseverance, much like learning how to write and form letters with a pencil. Many of these skills can be worked on with simple hands-on preschool science activities, which will later be used when learning to handwrite.

Below is just a sampling of awesome preschool fine motor activities you can try with your kids at home and school. Simple supplies, simple tools, and simple fun make learning and practicing fine motor skills a piece of cake, even for the reluctant kid! I know because I have one!

Favorite Fine Motor Activities For Preschoolers

Look through all our best science experiments, STEM projects, and art activities, and you will see plenty of fine motor work.

Click on the links below to check out all the details for each science experiment.

Shape Painting for STEAM fun: Use plastic shapes and paint to create geometric works of art.


Color Mixing with Eye Droppers: Fill containers with primary colors and let children use eye droppers to mix and explore color combinations.

Fine Motor Fishing: Float small objects in water and let children “fish” them out using large kitchen tongs. Try rubber ducks!

Flower Dissection with Magnifying Glass: Examine flowers up close using magnifying glasses. Discuss parts like petals, stems, and leaves.

Ice Sculptures with Squirt Bottles: Freeze colored water in containers. Once frozen, let preschoolers use squirt bottles filled with warm water to melt and sculpt the ice. Alternatively, use real snow.

Dropper Dot Art: Dilute watercolors and let children use eye droppers to create dot art on paper.

Water Drop Painting

Seed Exploration with Tweezers: Provide various seeds and tweezers for preschoolers to pick up and examine. Then, use them to set up this seed germination experiment in a jar.

Bubble Painting with Squirt Bottles: Mix liquid watercolors with dish soap, and let children blow bubbles onto paper with squirt bottles.

Sink or Float Experiment: Fill a basin with water and gather various objects. Have preschoolers use a turkey baster to predict and test if objects sink or float.

Salt Painting with Eye Droppers: Create glue designs on paper and have preschoolers use eye droppers to drop watercolor paint onto the glue, watching it spread.

Salt Painting

Nature Hunt with Magnifying Glass: Go on a nature walk and use magnifying glasses to observe insects, leaves, and other outdoor elements up close.

Ice Cube Painting with Squirt Bottles: Freeze water with colored paint in ice trays. Allow preschoolers to use squirt bottles filled with warm water to melt the ice and create paintings.

Colored Vinegar Reactions: Combine baking soda and colored vinegar in containers. Use squirt bottles or eyedroppers to create fizzy reactions.

Check out more fun ways you can set up a baking soda and vinegar reaction.


What Absorbs Water: Set out various items, including cotton balls, a bowl of colored water, and an eye dropper, to investigate what materials absorb water and which don’t.


Coffee Filter Flowers: Use a squirt bottle to dampen colored coffee filters and watch the ink disperse. Or try this coffee filter rainbow science craft.

Hatching Dinosaur Eggs: Make these frozen dinosaur eggs and let kids use a squirt bottle or eye dropper to melt them.

Dino Dig: Create a dino dig or fossil hun and provide brushes, spoons, and tweezers for extracting and cleaning dino bones!


Fizzing Dinosaur Eggs: Add vinegar to these baking soda dino eggs with a turkey blaster for a fun fizzing reaction.

Snap Cubes Number Mats: Make learning math fun and interactive for young kids with snap cubes and our free printable Snap Cube Number Mats.

Exploring Volume: Water, containers, and pouring!


What Are Fine Motor Skills?

Fine motor skills involve using small muscles in the hands, fingers, and wrists to perform precise movements. These skills are crucial for various everyday tasks and play a significant role in a child’s overall development. Here are some examples of fine motor skills for young kids and why they are essential.

Examples of Fine Motor Skills

1. Grasping

  • Palmar Grasp: Infants’ reflexive grasp, where objects placed in their palms elicit a firm grip.
  • Pincer Grasp: The ability to pick up small objects using the thumb and index finger.

2. Hand-Eye Coordination

  • Stacking and Sorting: The ability to manipulate objects, such as blocks or toys, by stacking or sorting them.
  • Threading: Stringing beads or lacing cards involves coordinating hand movements with visual input.

3. Drawing and Writing

  • Holding Writing Tools: The ability to hold and control crayons, markers, or pencils.
  • Drawing Shapes and Lines: Progressing from scribbling to drawing basic shapes and lines.

4. Self-Care Tasks

  • Buttoning and Zipping: The ability to manipulate small fasteners on clothing.
  • Tying Shoelaces: Coordination required for tying shoes independently.

5. Manipulating Small Objects

  • Picking up Small Items: Picking up small objects like beads, coins, or buttons.
  • Building with Small Blocks: Building structures with small building blocks or Lego pieces.

6. Cutting with Scissors

Using scissors to cut along lines or shapes involves precise hand movements and control.

Why Fine Motor Skills Are Important

  • Academic Readiness: Proficiency in fine motor skills is linked to academic readiness, especially in writing and drawing activities.
  • Independence: Fine motor skills enable children to perform various self-care tasks independently, fostering a sense of autonomy.
  • Handwriting Development: Well-developed fine motor skills are essential for developing handwriting. The ability to control writing tools contributes to legible and efficient writing.
  • Cognitive Development: The coordination required for fine motor tasks stimulates cognitive development, enhancing problem-solving and spatial awareness.
  • Social Skills: Fine motor activities often involve collaboration and sharing, promoting social skills as children work together on projects or play with small objects.
  • Visual-Motor Integration: Fine motor skills contribute to visual-motor integration, where hand movements are coordinated with visual information. This is crucial for activities like reading and copying from the board.
  • Preparation for Everyday Tasks: Many daily tasks require well-developed fine motor skills, from buttoning shirts to using utensils.

Science Tools That Develop Fine Motor Skills

Engaging preschoolers in hands-on science activities with simple tools is a fantastic way to promote the development of fine motor skills. Here are five simple science tools that preschoolers can use to develop their fine motor skills:

1. Eye Dropper

Using an eye dropper promotes hand strength, precision in finger movements, and coordination between the hand and eye.

2. Baster or Turkey Baster

Squeezing and releasing the bulb of a baster helps strengthen hand muscles and improve hand-eye coordination.

3. Tweezers or Tongs

Using tweezers develops fine motor control, hand strength, and the pincer grasp (using the thumb and index finger).

4. Magnifying Glass

Holding and manipulating a magnifying glass requires precision and helps enhance visual-motor coordination.

5. Spray Bottle

Squeezing the spray bottle trigger enhances hand strength and control.

Does LEGO Building Help With Fine Motor Skills?

YES!! Incorporating Lego building into a preschooler’s activities offers a fun and engaging way to support the development of fine motor skills. It’s an open-ended activity that allows children to explore, create, and develop crucial skills for future tasks.

Connecting Lego bricks requires precise hand movements. Preschoolers need to align the studs and insert the bricks accurately, promoting hand-eye coordination and fine motor control.

Handling Lego bricks involves using the thumb and fingers to grasp and manipulate small pieces. This pincer grasp is essential for fine motor development and prepares children for later skills like writing. Lego building also requires intricate control of small parts, which builds fine motor control.

Favorite LEGO Building Activities

Check out more easy LEGO builds for kids using basic bricks you already have!

LEGO Balloon Car

Build a balloon-powered car that really goes! Race your car with a friend and see how far it can travel.


LEGO Zip Line

Explore slopes, tension, gravity and more with this fun Lego STEM activity. Build your own Lego zip line that your mini-figs are sure to love! Here is a more basic LEGO zip line version that doesn’t use the pulley.

LEGO Zip Line

LEGO Ice Melt

The simplest LEGO STEM activity ever! Kids will love rescuing the LEGO in this LEGO ice melt science activity.

LEGO Ice Melt

LEGO Water Dam

Can you use your LEGO bricks to control the water flow on an inclined surface?


LEGO Volcano

Combine one of our favorite chemical reactions with a Lego volcano. This has to be the most fun ever!


More Fun Preschool Activities

Printable Preschool Pack

Get ready to explore this year with our growing Preschool STEM Bundle with 12 fun themes! Or grab the individual packs.

What’s Included:

There are ten fun preschool themes to get you started. This is an ” I can explore” series! You’ll find seasonal and non-seasonal themes appropriate to preschool learning throughout the year.

Each unit contains approximately 15 activities, with instructions and templates as needed. Hands-on activities are provided to keep it fun and exciting. This includes sensory bins, experiments, games, and more! Easy supplies keep it low cost, and book suggestions add the learning time.

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