Busy Boxes: Fine motor skills

What is a BUSY BOX?

A busy box is a box or bag containing pre made activities that children can do on their own or with an adult. They usually have an activity that focuses on a skill, these busy boxes are great for developing fine motor skills. The more fine motor activities you do with your child, the more strength they will develop in their fingers. The more strength a child has in their fingers the more control they have when holding a all these fine motor skills are essentially per-writting activities. 
small foam shapes, tongs, an ice cube tray and small cups: have your child pick up the objects with the tongs and drop it in the ice cube tray.

Styrofoam cube, hammer, tongs or pliers, tees, small dice: have the children hammer in the tees and see if they can use the pliers to place the dice on top of the tees. For more ideas with this activity click here
I have this one below in my preschool classroom and it is by far one of the most played with toy! Both the boys and girls LOVE to hammer away at it and then pull out the nails with the other side of the hammer!!

pipe cleaners, pony beads: string beads on pipe cleaner, I numbered a few pipe cleaners so they can count and place the correct number of beads on.

Strips of colored paper, hole puncher, scissors, and small shape hole punches: let children cut and punch
 holes on the strips of paper.

Play dough and toys: manipulating play dough is one of the best ways to strengthen little fingers* 

Lacing cards and string: You could also make these by cutting cardboard shapes, punch holes around it and let the kids lace a shoe lace though them.

This is a chalk board mat that someone gave to us.

Drawing with a small pieces of chalk and erase. Want to know an interesting fact? When a child draws with chalk or crayons the vibration of the chalk or crayon hitting the surface sends a neurological signal to the brain giving a child a better sense and connection for writing. When the child uses pencil or marker this vibration does not happen, therefore the brain is not getting the same stimulus. So young children should be encouraged to use chalk or crayons***   

Home made Geo board* I went to home depot and looked in their "scrap" section and had them cut 3 square pieces.*

I bought nuts and bolts

We poked the bolts through the peg board and spun the nuts on top and......ta`da* Our very own geoboard

geo`boards are great for creating shapes and designs with rubber bands. We use smaller 'store bought' geo`boards in my classroom but I loved the idea of making our own. I originally saw the idea here

I have these ones in my preschool classroom and the kids love to use them! Great for creating shapes!

while at home depot I picked up a few paint samples

I cut a strip of one side then cut out each color from the strip

then i glued each color to a clothes pin
and made a fun color matching game....opening and closing clothes pins are great ways to strengthen the thumb and pointer fingers....the ones we use for writing*** I originally saw this idea here

while in the paint department I grabbed 2 of each color from the Disney collection to make a fun matching game or for older kids memory** I saw this idea here 

I hope you enjoyed these fine motor bust box ideas, click on the link "busy Box activities" at the top of this blog to see more ideas for letter recognition, patterning, and art***


  1. AnonymousJune 15, 2013

    Where did you get the foam shapes? I love these ideas.


    1. Hi Sally!! Thank you!! I actually got those from Target in their $1 bin around back to school time, it was a few years ago but keep your eye out!!

  2. love all these wonderful ideas, Thanks for sharing! happy mommy days

  3. Thank you I will use the paint card with pins


Thank you for your feedback and comments!!!!