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Finger Games

Finger games are the staging of poems and rhymes, rhyming stories, fairy tales with the help of fingers.  Finger games help to develop fine motor skills, which stimulate the development of speech centers. A kid receives new tactile impressions, learns to focus and concentrate. Such games are designed for children from six months; interesting for kids up to five years. Kids do exercises for one hand, three-four-year-old children use all fingers, and after four years, different small objects are used.

You should choose different games according to the kid’s age.

First, demonstrate in details all the actions, and then ask to repeat or do it together with you, using the fingers of the baby.

If kids cannot cope with the game by themselves it should be simplified.

Parents can write funny simple poems themselves and accompany them with all the movements of the child’s fingers.

Each finger must be involved in to the game moving together and individually.

Symmetric and asymmetric hand movements should be alternated. With the most difficult games, where the right and left hands simultaneously produce different actions, the child should be introduced to approximately five years.  For some games, you can use different caps, or draw funny faces on the fingertips.

Finger games can be practiced both in the development group and at home – this does not require material costs or special conditions. Before the start of the game, it is better to “warm up” the fingers of the child with a light massage or exercise. To begin with, the mother herself should learn the text and movements, tell the kid about the new game. It is necessary to pronounce the text without haste, with pauses, expressively, lowering and raising the voice, with an emphasis on keywords. Of great importance is the corresponding facial expression of an adult. With repeated repetition of already known words, the baby will begin to sing together with the mother.

Almost all children love playing with playdoh or modeling clay and use all suitable materials for it – from sand at the playground to cookies dough. This activity is not only exciting but also beneficially. The benefits for the parents are obvious: the child is busy for a long time. The benefits for children are much more significant.

For mental development

  • When kids crumple playdoh (or other material) in their hands, they create different shapes, attach them to each other, flattens, stretches, developing fine motor skills in this way. It has been scientifically proven that it directly affects the development of a child’s speech, coordination of movements, memory, and logical thinking.
  • When a child concentrates on this activity, they learn to be patience and perseverance.
  • When they create new forms or mix colors, figurative, abstract and logical thinking develops, revealing creative abilities.
  • When kids roll a ball or a sausage with two hands, both hemispheres of the brain activate, inter-hemispheric connections are strengthened, which, in turn, promotes attention and self-regulation.
  • This activity develops memory, the ability to compare facts and images, logical thinking, patience, the ability to gather, concentrate, complete the task and evaluate the result, comparing it with the original one.
  • When a child plays with modeling clay or playdoh, imagination, creativity and creative thinking are developing.


Playing with modeling clay and playdoh is important for health and emotional state

  • These exercises have a beneficial effect on the nervous system, mental and emotional state of the kid.
  • Regular exercises help to normalize sleep and reduce excessive activity and irritability.
  • If necessary, playing helps children non-verbally express existing internal conflicts and contradictions.
  • Activities with modeling clay or playdoh allow you to overcome fears through physical interaction – break, crush figures or change it to make something good.
  • It is associated with a wide range of feelings: from tactile sensations, color perception and smell to complex internal states – excitement, interest, joy.
  • Play with modeling clay or playdoh helps a child to express emotions (including negative ones) in a socially acceptable manner, to cope with pain, anger, anxiety.
  • The crafts that the child creates will help adults understand and assess the presence of emotional or personal problems.
  • Creating, a child is able to relax, relieve tension, calm down and get rid of a bad mood.
  • For little dreamers, creating becomes a kind of bridge from the world of own fantasies to real life. It helps to accept the existing world and come to terms with its imperfections.
  • Psychologists are actively using modeling clay as one of the areas of art therapy, which refers to the inner hidden self-healing resources of the child.
  • The experience of creating masterpieces from everyday materials convinces a child of importance and necessity, teaches them to look at things from a different angle and find original solutions in different situations.

Activities with modeling clay and playdoh helpful for kids personal development


  • This activity is a simple and effective way to identify hidden abilities and develop the natural skills of kids, to demonstrate their uniqueness and creativity.
  • Playing with modeling clay or playdoh introduces children to the concepts of shape and color. Gives the experience of tactile perception at the difference between “soft-hard”, “warm-cold”, “wet-dry”.
  • Work with materials, which shape can be changed to a new one, develops the child’s self-confidence, responsibility, and curiosity.
  • The child learns new things and tries to consciously use his skills to achieve the desired result.
  • In addition to basic motor skills, modeling develops a sense of purpose, perseverance, and accuracy.
  • Working on 3D images, children study characteristic features of objects, clarify details, interpret the basic qualities of objects. They form knowledge about the properties and laws of the surrounding world, they train the visual perception.
  • Modelling plays a significant role in the aesthetic education of the child and the development of their sense of beauty.



Fine motor skills develop gradually, this is an individual process and for each child it passes at its own pace. At first, the movements of the child are awkward, inept and disharmonious. To help your child improve fine motor skills, you need to play developmental games with the kid. Here some useful exercise to have with  your kid at home.

Activities for the development of fine motor skills


  1. Pea

You will need a pea and a jar with a removable lid. Show the child that you first need to remove the lid, then take a pea with your fingers and put it in a jar, then close the lid. Ask your child to do the same. Do not be discouraged if the first time does not work. Show your child the whole chain of actions slowly several times and then the will be able to repeat everything. Active kids are quickly bored with this game, in this case, you do not need to force them. Offer your child a different game.


  1. Screwing the caps

Such a simple exercise, as screwing and unwinding the lids of cans, bottles, bubbles, develops dexterity of fingers. Offer your kid different size and shape, it will make the game more diverse.


  1. Fastening, unzipping and lacing.

This exercise will not require any additional toys. Gradually involve the child in the dressing process. Let kids fasten the buttons and zippers. This will not only develop hand movements but also teach the child to be independent. Give your child some unnecessary shoe with a lacing, which will be an excellent trainer for hands.


  1. Sculpting

Sculpting is suitable for children of different ages. For modeling are suitable clay,  play-dough, dough. When you are going to bake something, be sure to involve the child with you. Kids really like to knead and roll out the dough. In addition, they will be proud to help the mother.


Exercises for the development of fine motor skills


  1. Drawing and coloring

It is very useful to trace the outline of pictures consisting of  lines or digits, as well as to color objects of various shapes. It is very useful to draw on vertical surfaces: a wall, a board, a mirror. Therefore, it is advisable to hang a special board for the kid for drawing.


  1. Collecting mosaics and puzzles

Different puzzles and puzzles with large pieces are chosen for children under 3 years old. Puzzles also train the imagination.


  1. Cutting

Buy baby scissors, glue stick, colored paper, and cardboard. Cut pictures, stick them, make snowflakes, etc. This will not only develop fine motor skills, but also spatial imagination and creative thinking.


However, it is worth remembering one simple thing. Games for the development of fine motor skills should be supervised by adults. Otherwise, the child may swallow some small part or choke it. To play games and perform exercises that develop fine motor skills, you need to repeat them systematically. Work with your child every day and soon you will notice that the movements of your baby become more and more smooth, precise and coordinated each time.

There are many activities, games, and exercises for the development of fine motor skills. They can be divided into the following groups: finger games, games with small objects, modeling and drawing, finger massage. Articles about child development in the Montessori system as well as Montessori games will also be interesting.

Consider the most simple and effective games:

  1. Palm massage

This is the easiest and most versatile for any age method of developing fine motor skills. With your finger, slide your hands around the baby, stroke and massage them. Accompany your actions with funny songs.


  1. Clap your hands

Since childhood, everyone knows “Clap your hands” games. These activities will teach the youngest to straighten fingers and clap their hands.


  1. Tearing paper

This exercise is suitable for children from 7 months. Give your baby a few sheets of soft colored paper. The kid with pleasure feels it, will start to twirl in hands and to tear. This exercise will entertain and develop.


  1. Turning pages

After a year, tearing the paper can be replaced by turning the pages of some picture book or magazine.


  1. Beads

Children like to sort out small items, which is very useful. Therefore, you can put on some beads with beads of various sizes and shapes. The child will be happy and interested to touch them with fingers.


  1. Stacking and sorting toys

These toys are useful as they can be stacked, put them into each other. This game forms the concept of the size of the objects to a child.


  1. Cereals

Put any cereal in a bowl and give it to your baby. This game develops fine motor skills and tactile sensations.


  1. Jars of cereals

Put different cereals in jars and let the child take turns to lower each hand into each jar. So he or she will be able to probe different grains and take them with fingers. You can complicate the task. Before the child’s eyes, bury some small object in the cereal and give a jar. Let your child try to find this item.


  1. Drawing on the sand

Put sand on the Art Light Activity Box. Take the child’s finger in your hand and run it on the sand. You can start with simple shapes – lines, rectangle, circle, gradually complicating the task.

Fine motor skills are the ability to perform small and precise movements with hands and fingers as a result of coordinated actions of the most important systems: nervous, muscular, and bones.  The field of fine motor skills includes a wide variety of movements: from simple gestures (for example, to seizing toys) to very complex movements (for example, to write and draw).

The development of fine motor skills plays an important role in the overall development of the child. Fine motor skills develop already from early childhood. First, a baby examines the hands, then the baby learns to control them. First, kids take objects with the whole palm, then with only two (thumb and thumb) fingers. Then the child is taught to properly hold a spoon, pencil, brush.

Fine motor skills have a very important feature. It is associated with the nervous system, eyesight, attention, memory, and perception of the child. Also, scientists have proven that the development of fine motor skills and the development of speech are closely related. And this is can be simply explained. In a brain speech and motor centers are located very close to each other. Therefore, when stimulating the motor skills of the fingers, the speech center begins to be activated. That is why for the timely development of the child’s speech, great attention should be paid to the development of fine motor skills. Fine motor skills directly affect manual dexterity, handwriting, which will be formed later, on the child’s reaction speed.

According to the peculiarities of the development of fine motor skills, the child is later judged on his readiness for training in a school. If everything is in order, then the child is prepared for learning to write, knows how to think and reason logically, has a good memory, concentration, attention and imagination, coherent speech.

Fine motor skills develop gradually, this is an individual process and it passes at its own pace for each child. At first, the movements of the baby are awkward, inept and disharmonious. To help your child improve fine motor skills, you need to play developmental games.