Tunnel of Fine Motor Fun!

Having a friend who is a literacy specialist as well as one who is an occupational therapist helps me make fun, creative choices for our free time.  I cannot take credit for this activity–when my friend the OT tells me that clothespins are great for fine motor skills, I listen!  When she says her very active 3-year-old loved this spin on a simple game, I couldn’t wait to give it a try!

I have found that these clothespins with letters written on them have been a huge resource for creative learning around here.  I used them for my very popular Build A Word activity and for sight word play.  My kids–who had been rained inside for what felt like forever–needed a little bit of structured energy-burning, so I set up a literacy/fine motor skills building obstacle course, and they loved it!

Most kids have a tunnel of some sort, or you could make one out of blankets.  I set it up on the living room and told the kids to run around our house, stop at the toy box, pick up an ABC clothespin, crawl through the tunnel, then clip the letter onto the edge of the tube–or blanket, if you don’t have a tunnel handy.

Suggested rule: one kid in the tunnel at a time.  Don’t let child #2 start go in the tunnel until child #1 is finished clipping.  Less kicking in the face that way.

After they clipped every clothespin…

they ran around the course again, this time taking a clothespin OFF as they went.  To make it a little harder, I asked them what sounds each letter made as they unclipped, and then to name a word that starts with that letter.  Em had a hard time with some letters, but her big brother was always ready to help, and she had the big idea to look in our Dr. Seuss’s ABC book for inspiration.

Here’s to great friends who make a me a better Mom; it really does take a village!  It was a great way to learn, laugh, and have fun!  Enjoy this great way to help you through the next rainy way!

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