When developing curriculum, daycare providers must include age-appropriate activities for young children that develop fine motor skills. This cotton swab painting activity will support an fine arts unit as well as promote visual motor coordination, bilateral coordination, and hand strength.
Fine motor skills are actions that involve the small movement of hands, wrists, feet, fingers, toes, tongue, and lips. In contrast with gross motor skills which involve larger muscles of the arms, legs and feet, fine motor skills focus on small muscle movements in coordination with the eye. Some important fine motor concepts and skills that preschool age children learn to master are bilateral coordination, visual motor coordination, grasp, hand use, manipulation skills, pincer grasp, wrist rotation, pre-writing grasp, hand strength, and tactile awareness.
Children learn fine motor skills through practice. Activities which involve writing, drawing, cutting, stringing, and buttoning are great examples of activities that promote the development of fine motor skills.
This cotton swab painting activity includes the preparation instructions, procedure, and materials list for this activity. It also provides age-appropriate learning objectives and a sample of the simple supporting verbal cues necessary to encourage participation and support learning.
Cotton Swab Painting Materials
For each child you will need:
- Art paper
- A cotton swab for each color of paint
- Tempura paint in a variety of colors
- Shallow dishes for paint
- A smock
Set up art easels with art paper for each child. Set out tempura paint Invite the children over to art area. Explain to them that you are use cotton swabs like paint brushes. Put a smock on each child. Let the children paint with the cotton swabs. Encourage children to make polka dots with the tip of the cotton swab dipped in paint.
Fine Motor Learning Objectives
Objective 1: To provide the opportunity for increased visual-motor coordination, bilateral coordination, hand strength, and pincher grasp by using the cotton swab as a paint brush
- Verbal Cue A: Can you grasp the cotton swab and dip it in paint?
- Verbal Cue B: Can you paint a design with the cotton swab?
Objective 2: To provide the opportunity to increase bilateral coordination, hand strength and visual-motor coordination by making dots on the paper with the cotton swab dipped in paint.
- Verbal Cue A: Let’s dip the tip of the brush in paint and then make dots on the paper.
- Verbal Cue B: I like how you are making dots with your brush.
Objective 3: The child will use new tools to create designs.
- Verbal Cue A: Can you use the cotton swab like a paint brush?
- Verbal Cue B: I like how you painting with the cotton swab.
Children in your child day care center will create a unique work of art while enhancing their fine motor skills.
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