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100 Fine Motor Busy Bin Activities

I started this blog post MONTHS ago, when I was doing all the fine motor work to get ready for the new school year.  As part of our homeschooling plan for this year, we were planning to use "fine motor tubs" (sometimes called busy bins) to keep the kids working even when I'm not working one-on-one with them.  My main qualification for the bins was something the kids could do on their own and needed to be mostly quiet.  You can read about my thought process more by clicking on the picture or colored text below.

Now that all the kids are out of school for the current issue, building and maintaining fine motor skills is even more important.  It's so tempting to hand our kids the phones and devices and let them play game or do all their learning on internet.  Although it's fine to do some learning and fun on devices, it's even more important for kids to spend a lot of time doing gross and fine motor skill building!

Not only can these fine motor bins help kids build and maintain fine motor skills, which is essential for handwriting, but most of these activities are also quiet, independent, and mainly mess-free.  If you find yourself working from home and need the kids to be occupied in a quiet activity, these 100 things are for you.  If you are homeschooling more than one child and need an independent task for the children you're not working with, this list of 100 activities is for you.  If you're tired of your messy house and don't want to read about any more kid activities that add to the mess, keep reading!

1- play with Q-bitz blocks (Free Printable for Beginners)

2- threading beads onto pipe cleaners (Spelling Practice with Letter Beads)

3- working latches (Melissa and Doug Door Puzzle)

4- painting with q-tips (Mosaic Dot Pictures)

5- locks and keys (Reading or Math Matching)

6- stretch rubber bands (Dryer Ball Task)

7- weaving (Make a Pot Holder)

8- play with mini cars (Popsicle Stick Road Small World)

9- place stickers (Dot Dot, Not a Lot)

10- balance marbles on golf tees (Bug Marbles)

11- squishing and squeezing play dough (A-Z Ways to Play with Dough)

12- hand sewing (From Lacing Cards to Craft Kits)

13- bingo dabbler pictures (Washable Dot Markers)

14- cutting random things (So Many Things to Cut)

15- buttoning a shirt or using a dressing frame (Montessori Dressing Frames)

16- making a paper clip chain (Big or Small for Different Levels)

17- twisting caps on and off (Make a Twist Off Board)

18- scratching off stickers (Scratch and Sniff Stickers)

19- drip water with an eye dropper (Fill Up a Textured Pot Holder)

20- push money in a piggy bank (Find a Cute Non-Breakable One)

21- build with Lego! (Challenge Busy Box)

22- squeeze a stress ball (The Sillier the Better)

23- draw in a squishy bag (Every Theme and Occasion)

24- make a picture with Tangram blocks (Free Challenge Cards)

25- pinch some clothespins (Felt Apple Tree Game)

26- play with Therapy Putty (Different Strengths for Extra Challenges)

27- pompom poking (Easy to DIY)

28- sticking things onto sticky paper (Like Blocks)

29- stack a cup (Challenge Cards)

30- play with tetris (This Animal One is Adorable)

31- pinch big melty beads into creations (Get Big Melt Beads Here)

32- feed the tennis ball friend (Roll the Dice and Count)

33- dig beads out of play dough (Get All the Colors)

34- using a zipper like on a coat or dressing frame (Practice with a Dressing Doll)

35- wiping with a cotton ball (Zen Painters Board)

36- spooning things from one container to another (Mini Solar System Marbles)

37- make a picture with pattern blocks (Free Challenge Cards)

38- poke a pompom (Christmas Ornament Making)

39- play Perfection Game (All Those Tiny Shapes to Pinch)

40- thread a worm through an apple (Adorable Wood Toy)

41- build with brain flakes (See Them Here)

42- blow a pompom with a eyedropper (Play Hockey)

43- poke a picture (Free Learning Pictures)

44- coloring or drawing (Beginning Drawing Books for Kids)

45- make a picture with Light Brights (Classic Toy for a New Generation)

46- play with rubber popping toys (So Many Colors)

47- stamping into play dough (Letter Stamps for Name Practice)

48- stacking wood spools or blocks (Make It a Competition)

49- arrange blocks to match a picture (Free Challenge Cards)

50- punch some paper (Suitable for Every Holiday)

51- do some finger knitting (Kid Friendly Tutorial)

52- stretching rubber bands on a geoboard (Explore Geometry)

53- write with a turkey feather (Thanksgiving Themed Ideas)

54- making pipe cleaner creations (Get Lots of Chenille Strips)

55- arrange popsicle sticks to match a picture (Free Challenge Cards)

56- tweeze corn off the cob or seeds out of a sunflower (See in Action)

57- connect linking chains (Get Some)

58- practice writing in a salt tray (20+ Themed Salt Tray Ideas)

59- play Last Mouse Lost game (Endless but Silent Bubble Wrap Popping)

60- nuts and bolts (More Construction Ideas)

61- create a picture with stickers (Different Type of Painting)

62- scoop water beads with special tongs (Get Them Here)

63- practice lacing and tying a shoe (Wood Puzzle)

64- folding paper to cut out snowflakes (Snowflake Templates)

65- make a picture with felt pieces (Lots of Theme Ideas Here)

66- roll play dough snakes (50+ Free Play Dough Mats)

67- dig in a sensory bin (Sensory Bin Ideas)

68- sort objects with tweezers (Big Pack of Tweezer Sizes)

69- stretch tiny rubber bands over popsicle sticks (Teaching in Kinderland)

70- line up mini erasers like dominoes (More Mini Eraser Ideas)

71- stamp words in kinetic sand (Store the Sand in a Pencil Box)

72- folding paper (Origami Book for Kids)

73- practice braiding hair (Rapunzel Quiet Book Page)

74- weave yarn on a cardboard loom (See It in Action Here)

75- wrapping yarn (Many Craft Options)

76- hang from hands (Trapeze Bar for Playground)

77- sew with blunt needle (Get a Kid-Friendly Kit)

78- tie yarn into a bracelet (Pre-Shoe Tying Lessons)

79- use tongs to pick up objects (Water Bead Tongs)

80- pipette colored water onto goals (Stock up on Pipettes)

81- lacing cards (So Many Different Kinds)

82- drive a tiny car on letters (Get Really Small Ones)

83- stacking small cups into a tower (Shot Glass Pyramid)

84- make mini doodles on grid paper (See the Idea)

85- grind candy with mortar and pestle (Make Something for the Kitchen)

86- playing with pop beads (Spelling Practice)

87- matching with clothespins (Paint Pallet with Colors)

88- catch mini rubber bands in water (Sort the Colors too)

89- arranging dominoes (Add the Dots on the Dominoes for Counting Practice)

90- pinch shaped noodles (So Many Themes)

91- write with chalk (Different Types to Work Different Muscles)

92- squeezing small bottles (Perfect for Pancake Art)

93- put coins in a piggy bank (Buy Fake Coins)

94- use tweezers (Catch a Spider Altoid Tin Game)

95- rainbow loom crafting (Other Things Rubber Bands Teach)

96- cut with a knife (Teach Knife Safety)

97- pick/arrange flowers (Practical and Pretty)

98- paint with a paintbrush (Water Painting for Little Ones)

99- peel fruit or hard boiled egg (Snack Time is for Learning)

100- handwriting (Practice, Practice, Practice)

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