Here we have our “go-to” list of top 10 creative spring and Easter activities that will not only keep under 5s busy over the Easter holidays or spring break, but also give them a chance to improve their fine motor skill development. The activities therefore focus on strengthening the muscles in the hands and fingers, as little ones get to handle, manipulate and move various items and tools in these fun, crafty tasks. Most of the activities are best suited for preschoolers, although some of them may suit older toddlers too, depending on what stage they are at in terms of their fine motor control.
Themes: Easter, Spring, Animals
1. MAKE SPRING PLAYDOUGH FLOWERS
Materials needed: playdough; lavender essential oil; dried lavender; rolling pin; flower-shaped cookie cutters
Our top creative spring activity for fine motor skill development involves playdough that looks; feels and smells like spring. Simply add floral essential oils and dried lavender to some colourful playdough, and then let little ones push and knead the dough until the lavender and oil is incorporated – excellent for strengthening small hands and wrists – and important for developing pencil and scissor control. The additional tasks of rolling the dough flat with a rolling pin; together with rolling the dough to make the stems and middles of the flowers, are all good practice for developing hand-eye coordination. Cutting out the shapes of the leaves requires fine, dexterous movements, as well as focus and concentration.
Find the playdough at:
Find the lavender essential oil and natural lavender at Hobbycraft:
2. MAKE EASTER EGG PLAYDOUGH SURPRISES
Materials needed: fillable plastic eggs; pom-pom bunnies or chicks; playdough; mini rolling pin
This creative Easter activity for fine motor skill development involves little ones making fun, surprise Easter egg gifts by placing pom-pom bunnies or chicks inside fillable plastic eggs and then wrapping these eggs in playdough. My toddler focused on opening and closing the plastic eggs (a task requiring good hand control and dexterity – even I find it tricky sometimes!) whilst my preschooler found the task of rolling the eggs in playdough a good challenge.
Find the pom-pom bunnies at:
3. MAKE A SPRING GARLAND
Materials needed: fabric flowers; shoelaces with aglets
Preschoolers will love making a garland of flowers – my daughter was so proud of hers, she gave it to a friend as a birthday gift. Threading is excellent fine motor skill practice, as not only does it aid in developing the pincer movement, but it improves hand-eye coordination; general hand control and improves dexterity. As the fabric petals in this task are flimsy and have rather small holes in them, this is a perfect challenge for preschoolers.
Find the fabric flowers at Hobbycraft:
4. MAKE TWO LITTLE DICKIE BIRDS (or more!)
Materials needed: cardboard cut in to circle shapes; feathers; scraps of felt, ribbon, lace, doilies etc.; googly eyes; wooden craft sticks; PVA craft glue
A brilliantly creative and crafty spring and Easter activity for fine motor skill development is that of making and decorating a little bird. The process of picking up small items and then gluing them together requires delicate, fine movements of the hands, and is therefore good fine motor skill practice for preschoolers. The spring birdies can then be used for a puppet show or as Easter decorations in pot plants. We had great fun singing the nursery rhyme “Two Little Dickie Birds” and using our glittery birds as accompaniments. Toddlers and preschoolers can both enjoy this task, although don’t expect a polished, finished product from your toddler! (Also: avoid if he/she is still putting small objects in his/her mouth.)
5. MAKE SPRING BLOSSOMS
Materials needed: twigs; tissue paper in assorted colours; PVA craft glue; a small amount of playdough or clay
Help little ones learn about spring blossoms and improve their fine motor control by bringing life back to a twig. Inspiration for this task came from my daughter’s nursery, where this activity was used to teach about the topic of spring and new life, as well as the concept of opposites: old and new; dull and colourful; hard and soft etc. Tearing the tissue paper and scrunching it up to make the blossoms; dipping the blossoms in to the glue; and then wrapping the blossoms around the twig all require use of the small muscles in the hands and fingers and thus promote control in handling and movement.
6. MAKE A SPRING BOUQUET OF FLOWERS
Materials needed: paper doilies, green pipe cleaners/chenilles, paint
This creative spring task for fine motor skill development focuses firstly on using a paint brush. Painting is always great fun, and if you have a younger child who has not yet managed to control a paintbrush, let them explore the paint with their fingers or hands. Then twin this with wrapping the paper doilies around a green chenille “stem” and you have a gorgeous hand-made daffodil or poppy to give as a spring gift to Mum.
Find the paint at:
7. MAKE HANDPRINT FLOWERS
Materials needed: tissue paper in assorted colours; green washable paint
This creative spring task for fine motor skill development allows your little ones to indulge in some sensory, messy play with paint. Let them paint their hands green and make hand prints to form the stems of flowers. Use colourful balls of tissue paper for the flower buds, then frame to make a gift.
Find the green paint at:
(There are various washable paint products on the market…this product has received the best reviews in terms of its “washability!”)
8. MAKE A FLUFFY SPRING LAMB
Materials needed: wooden craft sticks, cotton buds cut in half; white pom-poms; soft toy filling or large balls of cotton wool; googly eyes; white and pink felt; PVA craft glue
This crafty spring activity was completely my four year old’s idea, so I went with it…but in all honesty, I landed up having to finish it myself. Best therefore, for promoting fine motor skill development in a 5 or 6 year old, as the construction of the little lamb is quite fiddly, and gluing the tiny eyes, mouth and ears on were too tricky for my preschooler. Use a wooden craft stick as the lamb’s “skeleton” or body and stick the soft toy filling and pom-poms (for the head and tail) on to it. Quite a bit of glue is needed, so leave to dry overnight.
9. MAKE A SPRING COLLAGE
Materials needed: white paper or card; tissue paper in assorted colours; PVA craft glue; scraps of fabric, ribbon, lace etc
This simple, creative task can be adapted for either spring or Easter themed activities and is so easy to set up. It can be done using whatever craft materials you have lying around the house. We used dried flowers, pretty pastel-coloured tissue paper, and some dyed pasta we had from previously. But you could use scraps of floral fabric, raffia, ribbons, old greeting cards, shredded tissue paper or even torn up pieces of pastel colored toilet paper. Gluing and pasting things on to paper is a good task to promote fine motor development; from handling the brush; to spreading on the glue; to pasting the items on the paper.
To extend the task: let preschoolers use scissors to trim pieces of tissue paper, fabric etc. Remember to supervise your child.
10. PLAY WITH HIDE ‘N’ SQUEAK EGGS
To encourage explorative play and fine motor development with an Easter theme, invest in these Tomy Play to Learn Hide ‘n’ Squeak Eggs. You (and your little ones) won’t regret it. A best-selling children’s toy and hailed by many as the “go-to” gift for 1 and 2 year olds, this is a product that has so many features to it in terms of its use as an educational toy. Use it to teach counting, emotions, shape and colour recognition, and it is a great resource for encouraging fine motor skill development. Little fingers develop control, strength and coordination as they must twist the egg shells to open them, and then match the patterns back together to close.
Find these Tomy Play to Learn Hide ‘n’ Squeak Eggs at:
Want to extend these themes/activities? Then check out these links:
- Top 10 books about spring and Easter for children under 5
- 10 brilliantly simple but fun indoor spring and Easter activities for young kids
- Egg and Spoon Chase
- 3 quick and easy steps to making an Easter egg playdough surprise gift
- 5 fun outdoor activities for kids over spring and Easter
And for more inspiration, take a look at our spring and Easter theme board.
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