Fine Motor Skills & Counting

We found these great {and super simple!} fine motor math exercises at Tons of Fun and had to share - they'd make a wonderful addition to your math centers!

preschool counting and fine motor activity
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Craft Sticks & Mayo Containers

Ever notice how squeezable mayonnaise containers have a long, flat opening? Well they do, and that makes them the perfect compliment for craft stick counting! Provide students with a clean container and a handful of craft sticks and invite them to build both counting and fine motor skills as they maneuver the sticks through the slot.


  • Cut strips of construction paper in various colors, gluing one around each bottle. Create an assortment of craft sticks - some painted to match the bottle colors and others with the color words written on them. Invite your students to match both sets of craft sticks to the correct bottle.
  • For a lesson on color theory, add one colored strip of construction paper (orange, green, purple, and black) to each mayonnaise bottle. Using all the colors of the rainbow, paint craft sticks. You'll need: 2 of each primary color and 1 of each secondary color. When dry, invite your students to select the colors that are mixed together to create the color designated on the bottle, placing the proper craft sticks in the container (i.e. students should place a red and yellow craft stick into the orange mayo bottle, all the colors in the black mayo bottle, etc.).
  • Label each bottle with a different numeral, inviting students to count out and place the correct number of craft sticks in each container.
  • Label each container with a sum and script numerals onto each craft stick. Invite your students to find two craft stick numerals that add up to equal the displayed sum and place them in the mayo bottle (i.e. students could place craft sticks labeled with a "2" and a "3" in the container labeled "5").
preschool math activity
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Pipe Cleaner & Drinking Straws

For some counting {or even patterning!} and fine motor fun, provide students with chenille stems/pipe cleaners and various colored drinking straws that have been cut into 1" sections. Invite your students to string the straw segments onto the pipe cleaner, counting as they go along or practicing various patterns!

Tons of Fun: Quiet Box #3