Sugar Aunts: Fine Motor Paper Clip Math

Fine Motor Paper Clip Math

This Fine Motor Paper Clip Math idea makes for a great busy bag or calm down time activity.  It's perfect for indoor playtime and hands-on learning.  Not only that, but it is a great way to work on fine motor skills like thumb opposition.  This skill is needed for manipulating items like a pencil or crayon, shoe laces, zippers, buttons, and small objects with an open web space.  Often times, we see kids who have their thumb squashed up against their fingers and the side of their palm when they are writing or manipulating items.  This opposition fine motor activity is a fun way to work on opening up the web space for improved dexterity. 

Thumb opposition activity for fine motor skills needed in pencil grasp, buttoning, shoe tying, and zippers.

Full disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this post.  

You'll need just a two items for this activity: 

Foam Craft Sticks We received ours from www.craftprojectideas.com
Rainbow Paper Clips

I love how the two sets linked above (both affiliate links) are all colors of the rainbow.  Even better for color matching and color recognition for preschoolers!



Paper clip math and learning activity for kids

So, this activity is completely simple to do:  Spread out the paper clips and ask your child to match them up to the craft sticks. 

We worked on a few learning activities with this:
Add the number of paper clips.
Add the total number of paper clips on two craft sticks.
Subtract the difference of the number of paper clips on two craft sticks.
One to one correspondence
More than/less than
Work on color matching and color recognition
Work on fine motor skills.

Use paper clips and foam craft sticks to work on counting, addition, and subtraction as well as color recognition and color matching.

Thumb Opposition Fine Motor Activity 

Using the Foam Craft Sticks makes this activity a real workout for the fingers.  You could use wooden craft sticks that provide more support and are easier to manage.  But, to really challenge the fine motor skills, the foam craft sticks are the thing to use!  They are a little wiggly and require stability of the thenar muscles (muscles of the thumb) to hold the thumb in place as the fingers and the tip of the thumb place the paper clip on the craft stick.  

When opposing, the thumb's thenar muscles work to oppose the pointer finger during functional tasks.  This is needed for advancing and positioning a pencil when writing, managing a button with ease, and pulling a zipper.  With a closed thumb web space and lateral pinch of the thumb versus true opposition, a child will fumble.

When doing this opposition activity with your child, be sure to verbally prompt them to attend to the bend thumb IP joint, like we talked about in this post

Thumb opposition activity for fine motor skills needed in pencil grasp, buttoning, shoe tying, and zippers.

This is such an easy way to learn and play indoors.  Looking for more indoor play ideas? Try these:

Insect Addition to 100 Free Printable from Life Over C's

Melted Crayon Science {Phases of Matter} from School Time Snippets

Fine Motor Paper Clip Math from Sugar Aunts

How to Play Mum-Ball: A Game for Indoor Recess from Kelly’s Classroom

Spelling Sensory Sink from Still Playing School

Rubber Band Sling Shot LEGO Car from Preschool Powol Packets

Fine motor color matching and math activity using paper clips and foam craft sticks.

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Thumb opposition activity for fine motor skills needed in pencil grasp, buttoning, shoe tying, and zippers.

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