3 Fine Motor Activities with Pennies

There are over 30 muscles within the hand that need to be strong and well coordinated to support fine motor skills such as controlling a pencil, lacing beads and buttoning. Most children develop those skills through play, but some children need extra support to develop strength and coordination. Signs of hand weakness include a loose grip, a narrow space between the thumb and the index finger when holding a marker or a penny, and dropping things. Excess pressure on the pencil, difficulty activating wind-up toys and difficulty drawing shapes might signal weak coordination.


Have fun with resistive activities such as PlayDoh and putty and little toys or pennines to strengthen the fingers and develop fine motor skills.


1. Play Doh: Hide the pennies in play doh for child to search and find: improves finger and pinch strength





2. Hide the pennies/Feed the monster:


(1) Pick up pennies from the table one at a time to hide them in your palm.

(2) See how many you can hide in your palm.

(3) Then one at a time, place pennies into a container or piggy bank

Working on translation and in-hand manipulation skills.




3. Hairbrush

  • Place pennies in between prongs on hairbrush for your child to remove them

  • Child uses fingers to get the pennies out of the hairbrush

  • Finger strength, refined grasp