Weaving Exercises for Fine Motor Development

Ball of Yarn 5-1-09 2
Photo © 2009 Steven Depolo | more info (via: Wylio)

Preschool is the perfect time to help your kiddos "fine tune" their fine motor skills. While there are a plethora of activities to consider, lacing and weaving exercises are great because they strengthen hand muscles, promote focus, test hand-eye coordination, and reinforce problem solving skills - all hallmarks of fine motor mastery! Here are some essentials for your fine motor activity station...

Lacing Cards

Lacing cards are actually quite simple to make and can be fully customized to fit any theme, unit, or lesson!

My Montessori Journey creator uses recycled greeting cards to create unique lacing experiences for her kiddos! No scissors necessary, all you need is a paper punch and plenty of yarn! While greeting cards are usually made from sturdier paper, you might consider laminating them just in case!

greeting card lacing activity
Photo Source: My Montessori Journey

Shannon, over at Shannon's Tot School, recommends creating lacing cards from colorful craft foam sheets. The soft, "squishy" foam will provide a unique sensory experience for your preschoolers and stand up to the wear and tear of extended use.

homemade foam lacing card
Photo Source: Shannon's Tot School

Greeting cards from Arrowood Zoo. WonderFoam®. How about regular card stock? Print, copy, or trace the appropriate image onto the paper, cut it out, laminate it, and you're set! For more versatility and fun, create black and white cards, allowing students to color the pictures before laminating them!

card stock lacing cards
Photo Source: The Arrowood Zoo

If you're not up for making your own lacing cards, Melissa & Doug and MPM School Supplies (among other educational toy suppliers) provide handy lacing card kits that make a great addition to any preschool classroom!

lacing card activities
Photo Source: MPM School Supplies

Where To Find Lacing Card Images & Inspiration

  • Online. Find free templates at Activity Village, Shannon's Tot School, and other preschool activity sites. Look for printable coloring pages and clip art that can be adapted/printed onto card stock and made into lacing cards. Or just browse for inspiration in making your own. Childcare Land offers some great cards to purchase or use to get the creative juices flowing!
  • Word processing software. Most come with a gallery of clip art that can be printed onto card stock and adapted for lacing cards.
  • Magazines. If you find fun pictures/objects that are big enough, cut them out, glue them to a piece of card stock, and laminate!
  • Coloring books. Copy the desired page onto card stock, cut out, and laminate! Or, if you need just one, laminate the original coloring book page.
  • Cereal box panels. No need to laminate, just cut apart, punch some holes, and get to lacing!
  • Recycled storybook pages.
  • Greeting cards.

Lacing & Weaving Activities

Try these toilet paper roll lacing tubes from Jenn at Totally Tots.

recycled toilet paper roll lacing activity
Photo Source: Totally Tots

Create a simple lacing activity with peg board like this one at Journey Into Unschooling.

peg board lacing activity
Photo Source: Journey Into Unschooling

Recycle a round wooden cabinet organizer and make a unique lacing/weaving toy like this one at Journey Into Unschooling.

homemade circle peg pattern weaver
Photo Source: Journey Into Unschooling

Try this plastic basket and ribbon weaving activity from Teach Preschool.

using ribbons to weave patterns on plastic baskets
Photo Source: Teach Preschool

Recycle metal closet shelves or a wire shelf organizer for a weaving activity like this at PreKinders.

using ribbons to weave patterns into wire shelf racks
Photo Source: PreKinders

Your students are sure to love each of these unique weaving and lacing activities! Be sure to check out each projects site for further insights, directions, and other early childhood resources!