Lacing Ideas for Developing the Small Muscles of the Fingers & Hands
For example, in the very early stages of life, an infant who learns to push their torso off of the floor with their hands and arms are developing muscles in their hands that will help them in the next stages of life such as; playing with toys that have different buttons to push and pull, to holding a crayon, to eventually engaging in lacing activities, buttoning buttons and tying shoes.
If you think your child, or the children in your care may need some extra attention in this area or if you are looking for some nice quiet activities that are fun, educational, and also have a physical benefit, then lacing activities for fine motor skills development may be just what you need to implement.
Many Motor Development Activities for Kids:
There are so many ideas to keep it interesting and you can add your own creative twist to any of them. One extra added benefit to lacing activities is it’s great for cognitive development as it will really test their hand/eye coordination.
Cereal Lacing Fine Motor Activity for Children:
Lacing cereals such as cheerios, or fruit loops is always a hit. It’s a great way to begin with lacing as well. All you need is a medium strength piece of string. Take one piece of cereal and tie one of the string around it and knot it. This will make a stopper so the other pieces of cereal can not go past it.
Allow the children to make “necklaces” out of the cereal and string. You can do one flavor at a time if you do the activity more than once, or you can mix it up so the children can try and make patterns or just have fun with it.
Once they are finished lacing you can take a piece of cereal and tie the open end the same way as the stopped end so it looks like a “snake.” Or just tie the open end around the piece of cereal used as the stopper to make a “necklace.”
Their lacing activities can be eaten right then and there or they can be saved for snack where you can serve them along side fresh fruits and/or veggies and a glass of milk. We think it’s great to extended learning activities into one another as this helps children remember and “call to mind” experiences from earlier in the day.
For example, if the cereal lacing activity was done during the morning programming routine and then given to them after their nap for afternoon snack there will be no lack of conversation at the snack table. The children will be sharing their experiences and talking about what they did.
Different Types of Lacing Materials:
As the children develop more fine motor skills, lacing activities can be given in a more challenging way. You can gather different sizes of lacing materials such as thread, yarn, pipe cleaners, shoe laces, string, etc. and offer different sized items to lace such as buttons, beads, or anything you can find to lace.
Lacing Activities Using Old Boots & Shoes:
Another great idea is asking parents to donate any old shoes or boots with laces that they may be throwing out. These items can be put out during quiet time activities to get the children familiar with laces and they can experiment by pulling out the laces and then trying to put them in again. We don’t suggest focusing on whether or not the child is lacing the shoe or boot correctly, it’s more about the experience and the fine motor skills they are developing.
There are also many amazing fine motor lacing activities available for purchase but if you are trying to keep your costs down, making your own lacing activities can be just as educational and fun.