When developing curriculum, daycare providers must include age-appropriate activities for young children that develop fine motor skills. This fruit loop octopus 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. The fruit loop octopus craft 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.
Fruit Loop Octopus Craft Materials
4 Pipe Cleaners, cut in half
Large Googley Eyes
Crayons, markers, or colored pencils
Pencil and Sharpie
- Draw a large octopus head shape on each child’s card stock
- Cut pipe cleaners in half
- Cover the craft table with butcher paper.
- Put all materials on the craft table.
1. Encourage children to color out the Octopus head and cut it out.
2. Help the children punch 8 holes along the bottom of the body where they will insert the legs
3. Show children how to insert a pipe cleaner into each hole and fold them over at the base
4. Thread the fruit loops onto the pipe cleaner legs
5. Bend the legs up at the bottom so that the fruit loops from coming off
6. Glue on two large googley eyes.
Fine Motor Learning Objectives
Objective 1: To provide the opportunity for increased visual-motor coordination by using scissors to cut wavy lines.
Verbal Cue A: Can you cut octopus shape out of the card stock
Verbal Cue B: I like how you are using your scissors to cut wavy lines.
Objective 2: To provide the opportunity to increase bilateral coordination, hand strength and visual-motor coordination and pincher grasp by stringing the fruit loops onto the pipe cleaner.
Verbal Cue A: Let’s string the fruit loops onto the octopus’ legs.
Verbal Cue B: I like how you putting the pipe cleaners through the holes.
Objective 3: To provide the opportunity to increase bilateral coordination, hand strength and visual-motor coordination and pincher grasp by attempting to use a hole punch.
Verbal Cue A: Let’s punch holes in the octopus.
Verbal Cue B: You are doing well at punching holes with the hole punch.
Children in your child day care center will create a unique work of art while enhancing their fine motor skills.
*Craft inspired by Brilliant Beginnings Preschoool.
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