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Fine Motor Busy Bins for Learning Geography

In today's screen-driven age, many kids don't get enough time working on their fine motor skills.  The result is weak fingers and hands and poor handwriting.  More time strengthening their hands is a necessary part of your school day, but it doesn't have to just include play dough kneading.  Here are ways that you can improve your child's handwriting, while encouraging them to learn geography.  
Set up these fine motor activities in some trays or bins, so one child can work on them, while you're working with another child.  

Landform Trays with Play Dough // Pinay Homeschooler

Squishing play dough is a great way to strengthen fingers and work on fine motor skills.  This activity uses colored dough to create landforms in an engaging and interesting way.  Place a few tins of play dough in a quiet bin with some printable cards, so kids can build whichever landform they want during their free time.

Tracing Roads on Maps // Housing a Forest

Reuse your old road maps by allowing kids to trace over routes with a pencil.  I think this would be a great activity before and after a long road trip to help the kids understand where they're going and where they've been.  If you take the map to an office supply store like Staples, you can get them "large-format" laminated, then kids can write on them over and over with dry erase markers.  Challenge them to "drive" from one place to another.

Continent Sewing // Montessori Design

Pinching a sewing needle is a great way to strengthen motor skills, too!  Buy some dull needles and fabric for kids to practice their sewing outlining the continents or states.  Make a collection of them and stitch them into a quilt or use them to decorate a homeschool classroom.   As an alternative method, cut out the continent in a patterned fabric and iron it onto fabric with fabric adhesive paper and then have the child sew around the outline.

Lego Landmark Cards // Frugal Fun for Boys

Lego bricks are a classic toy for building finger muscles.  These free printable cards encourage kids to build famous world landmarks.  You can encourage kids to find the landmarks on a world map and research why they were built.  While you have the Lego box out, try to make some World Flags (Momgineer).

U.S. Punch Pieced Map // My Montessori Journey

A staple of Montessori education is paper punching.  It encourages kids to pay attention to details, while working on their fine motor skills.  You can buy a specially designed punch on Amazon, or just use a large push pin.  Teach your children to be careful with sharp objects so they don't harm themselves.  Then, have them use the tools to punch the outlines of US states and assemble a map.

Toothpick Flag Map // Research Parent

For families that are working on learning US Geography, the flag map is a great way to practice the location of the states, while also working on the pinch grip.  You could add state flags to add another dimension too.  Our favorite book right now on US Geography is "The 50 States: Explore the USA with 50 fact-filled Maps" book.  It would make a lovely resource for families with kids of all ages.

Printable Flag Bunting // Mr. Printables

Decorate your homeschool classroom or house with national flags!  Print them off from the Mr. Printables website and work on strengthening your child's fingers with lots of cutting time (scissors are great for building muscle).

I hope this gives you a lot of ideas for ways to study geography while still working on fine motor skills.  Scroll down for even more fine motor skill builders.  Please pin this article for later and share it on social media!

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Help kids learn geography and work on their fine motor skills at the same time!

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