Fine motor skills practice is vital for Preschoolers. Not only are they one of the first steps when learning to write, but fine motor skills are also needed for so many other activities too. What better way for Preschoolers to practice these crucial fine motor skills, than with some fun and creative tuff tray ideas?
These fine motor tuff tray activities have all been chosen because they are interesting and a little different. Working with our little one’s interests always helps when we are trying to teach them something!
They are also super quick and easy to set up for us grown-ups! As a mom, and previously a childminder, I know how little time we have for extravagant tuff tray setups that get wrecked within minutes!
I am not bringing you jaw-dropping setups here! I am sharing simple, yet creative, ideas that you will hopefully love just as much as your Preschoolers do!
Learning should be fun and fine motor skills are something our Preschoolers should be able to learn without realizing they are learning. With these easy tuff tray activities, they can play and explore, whilst practicing.
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I use my Tuff Tray for all these fine motor skills activities. Whilst you can do them all without a tuff tray, I would really recommend getting one if you haven’t already. They make life so much easier!
I absolutely love our Tuff Tray. It is just perfect for these activities.
If you’re still on the fence about getting one take a look at, Is it Worth Getting a Tuff Tray? A Mom’s Honest Tuff Tray Review.
It has honestly been one of the best things I’ve bought to further my Preschoolers learning.
If you’re already sold on it, you can grab the one I use here on Amazon.
Unfortunately, they only seem to be available to UK buyers, so I’ve searched for an equivalent for those of you further afield. I’ve found This Tray on Amazon and I think it would work almost as well as the Tuff Tray. It’s strong, waterproof, easy to clean and store, and has those handy edges that you want for messy play.
1. Scissor Practice
This is a great fine motor skill to practice before starting school.
With this Tuff Tray Activity, you can make it fun and interesting for your preschooler to keep practicing this important skill.
I used different coloured card so that we could chat about colours at the same time. I have also made some shapes for them to cut out too.
So, they are learning their shapes and colors at the same time as practicing their fine motor skills. Score!
2. Colour Sorting Fine Motor Skills Practice
My little ones really enjoyed this tuff tray activity, and as a bonus, they learnt their colors at the same time as practicing their fine motor skills! Win!
I simply set out some colored containers and a mix of colored pom poms, feathers, and sticks. I popped a few of the small items into the right-colored tubs to demonstrate and then left them to it!
The day I did this activity, I had a little one of just 22 months. If you have Preschoolers, you could use smaller items, like sequins, or buttons for them to sort. This would create more of a challenge!
This pack of Pom Poms from Amazon would be perfect for this activity, as there are a mix of different sizes, colours, and some sparkly ones in there too!
3. Pouring Station
A pouring station is such a simple idea, but most Preschoolers just love it!
Learning to pour well is not only a fine motor skill but a life skill that our little ones need to learn. Practicing on the Tuff Tray with water is definitely preferable to practicing with a full carton of orange juice first thing in the morning! Trust me, I’ve been there!
You can make this activity more interesting by using food coloring to create different colored water. This also creates a color-mixing opportunity for your Preschoolers.
4. Pipecleaner Fine Motor Activity
Pipecleaner threading is a great fine motor skill activity. This tuff tray setup had two different types of pipe cleaner activity.
The first one is threading pipe cleaners in and out of a colander. You could also punch holes in a kitchen roll tube for this one.
The second is to thread Cheerios onto the pipe cleaners to make bracelets. You could use beads instead of Cheerios if you wanted to make a craft that could be taken home and kept.
5. Sticker Fine Motor Activity
If your little one is anything like mine, then they’ll love playing with stickers!
At our house, they seem to get stuck to everything. And I do mean, EVERYTHING!
I used dot stickers like these from Amazon this time as it made the activity a little trickier for my daughter who’s just graduated Preschool. However, previously, I found these puffy stickers from Amazon were great for her as a toddler as they were easier for her to peel off independently.
For this activity, you just draw a funny-shaped line, outline of a shape, a number or letter, and your toddler can stick their stickers along the line. This is a great activity to learn to recognize their name, as they decorate the writing with stickers.
If you’re interested in more activities to teach name recognition check out, Teach Your Kid to Write their Name : 15+ Fun and Easy Activities.
6. Animal Rescue
This fine motor skills activity is probably the easiest of these tuff tray ideas to set up. My little ones wanted to help me set it up, so they got double the fine motor skills practice!
I simply found some toy animals and taped them down to the tuff tray, ready to be rescued.
You could increase the challenge level by attempting to rescue the animals with just one-hand if this was too easy for some of your Preschoolers.
If you’re in need of some animal figures, these animal toys from Amazon look perfect for this activity!
7. Tweezer Grab!
Tweezer grab is such a fun activity!
This one held my Preschooler’s attention the longest.
I tipped lots of little pom poms onto the tuff tray and then crisscrossed sticky tape across it. They took turns using tweezers to get a pom pom out.
The challenge was to not touch the tape with their hands or the tweezers.
The child who was waiting for their turn often told the other child which color they should try to rescue. This helped to hold everyone’s attention.
Alternatively, you could provide several tweezers or other fine motor tools for them to all experiment with.
I used some fun, patterned, tape like these from Amazon for this activity because its narrower than regular packing tape so works better. Plus is just looks more fun!
Easy Fine Motor Skills Tuff Tray Ideas for Preschoolers
I really hope you’ve found these easy tuff tray activities fun to do with your Preschoolers, and that they have helped give them that vital practice they need with their fine motor skills.
If you’ve enjoyed these tuff tray ideas, be sure to check out my other tuff tray articles below! I also have several seasonal tuff trays and sensory play posts.