As each class leaves my classroom at the end of the year and I prepare for a new one, I can’t help but marvel at how far they have come. In so many areas they grow, but none more than with their fine motor skills. I cringe at the thought of what each fall brings in terms of my new students and their fine motor abilities. Is it just me or has there been a drastic decline in the number of students who enter kindergarten with good hand strength and the ability to manipulate objects . . . especially scissors and pencils. . . with any kind of basic ability? It seems to be a little worse each year. This trend gave me cause to start daily fine-motor morning bins a couple of years ago and to offer students and their parents’ access to a fine motor take-home kit each fall. The work has paid off and by this time of the year, I can see just how valuable these simple yet engaging activities have been. Of course, my students have their favorites and one that they never tire of is the ‘Dot It’ pages.
I’m delighted to share with you just how easy they are and what a great, independent station they are in my own classroom. All you need it a little dab of paint, a supply of cotton swabs and something for your students to trace.
It could be their name . . .
a simple thematic picture . . .
. . . letters . . .
or even sight words. (Yep, these are editable.)
Whatever you choose, students have to use careful hand-eye coordination to follow the tracer lines of the image and/or letters. Because the q-tips are short, they allow students to hold them without fisting them and carefully dot with minimal pressure. The more practice they get, the better they are at following the lines and the better the picture they create.
If you utilize small paint bottles or grab a few small squirt bottles to store paint in, students can even secure the paint for themselves and squeeze a small dab into a small plastic paint palate. The clean up is completely manageable. In my own classroom, we do this activity so often that my students are completely independent.
I’d love for you to try it yourself, so I’m including a simple little freebie at the end of this post. Just click on the FREEBIE button at the bottom of this page and you will receive an email confirming your willingness to be included on my mailing list. You’ll get periodic updates on new items, ideas, and freebies that are available on my blog. Once you have made that confirmation from the email sent, the file is automatically placed in the ‘download’ file of your computer.
Of course, if you’d like to find out more about my Editable Sight Word and Letter pages, you can find them in my Dot-It Paint-It Stick-It packet. Just click the button below to see more.
Or if you’d like to have some holiday tracers, you can check out those by clicking on the picture below.
There will be some other variations coming in the upcoming weeks, but until then, please make sure you grab the freebie, pick up some cotton swabs and watch your students go crazy over this fine motor fun station.