Sugar Aunts: Fine Motor Play with Tissue Paper

Fine Motor Play with Tissue Paper

This was an easy and fun little activity to throw together. 
We have a bunch of little tissue paper squares in our craft supplies.  Put them next to a couple of empty plastic bottles, and the kids know what to do!
 Pinching and crumbling paper is an excellent fine motor exercise for children.  It is an activity that works the small muscles of the hand and really strengthens the arches of the hands.  If a child has weak muscles in their hands and the arches are not defined, you may see them holding a pencil or small items between their thumb and the side of their index finger.  The arches of their hand may not be defined and nice and round.  You may also see them holding their hands close to their chest as they attempt to gain stabilization of their arms to do the small motor task.  
To really work those muscles, you could have your child first tear the bits of tissue paper before they crumble them up.
Defined arches are very important in shoe tying, handwriting, and managing clothing like buttons and snaps.
Pushing the tissue paper into the spout of the water bottle is great for encouraging a tripod grasp (using the thumb, index, and middle finger). 
Holding the bottle with the non-dominant hand allows the child to work on their bilateral hand coordination (using both hands together in a coordinated need this when they begin shoe tying and managing the zipper on their coat).
...And everyone loved the cool crunchy sound the bottle made when you squashed it!

What did we work on today?

Fine Motor Strength

Tripod Grasp

Bilateral Hand Coordination

Arch Strengthening

Eye-Hand Coordination


Auditory Input

Cause and Effect


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  1. this is a great post, thanks for sharing!

    following you :)

    1. Thanks for your kind words, and for following! Stopping over to visit you :)
      Colleen>Sugar Aunts

  2. Oh how fun, what kid doesn't like tearing up paper and crinkling it into a ball? Mine sure does! Amazing how easily they can be entertained with simple things!

    The Hot Toddies of Washington

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Easy and a fun fine motor play activity! Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. I remember doing this with my son. We used the torn pieces on clear contact (sticky) paper to make a collage :)

  4. This is a great idea. I have tons of tissue paper left over from Christmas too. I would love it if you would come link up at Artsy Play Wednesday.

  5. What a great idea! Sometimes the simplest things are the most entertaining.

  6. That really is a cool activity. I like seeing the pretty colors in the bottles. I think kids would find it engaging and as you pointed out, it is an easy way for them to develop their motor skills. The plastic bottles are safe for them to work with and are not small enough to be a danger to kids of any age.

  7. Thanks for the idea, I love it! I have used the bottle idea with colorful pipe cleaners before, fine motor skills development. My toddler loved it and caught on very quickly. I'm going to try this!


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