When developing curriculum, daycare providers must include age-appropriate activities for young children that develop fine motor skills. This Valentine’s Day Caterpillar craft is an activity that will support a Thanksgiving 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 Valentine’s Day 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.
Valentine’s Day caterpillar Materials
For each child you will need:
- Pink Construction paper
- Red construction paper
- Googley eyes
- Pipe cleaners
Valentine’s Day Caterpillar Activity Procedures
Cover a table with butcher paper. Place all materials on the table. Invite the children over to craft area. Explain to them that you are going to create a Valentine’s Day caterpillar. Let the children cut the construction paper into heart shapes. Show children how line the hearts up on the paper to create the body of the caterpillar. Let them glue eyes and antennas to the caterpillar.
Fine Motor Learning Objectives
Objective 1: To provide the opportunity for increased visual-motor coordination by using scissors to cut curvy lines.
- Verbal Cue A: Can you cut the heart from the paper?
- Verbal Cue B: I like how you are cutting curved lines.
Objective 2: To provide the opportunity for increased visual-motor coordination, bilateral coordination, hand strength, and pincher grasp through bending and positioning the caterpillar’s antennas.
- Verbal Cue A: Can you bend the pipe cleaner to make antennas?
- Verbal Cue B: Where would you like to place the antenna on the caterpillar?
Objective 3: To provide the opportunity to Increase bilateral coordination, hand strength and visual-motor coordination by squeezing glue containers
- Verbal Cue A: Let’s glue the hearts onto the paper to make the body of the caterpillar.
- Verbal Cue B: Can you squeeze a little glue the back of the antennas?
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