Here is a eco-friendly fine motor activity to try this winter! With just a few simple supplies, children can work on hand-eye coordination, pencil grip and other important fine motor skills. This sensory activity is easy to make and a fun way to get children ready for prewriting skills.
Recently we tried a couple of fine motor leaf activities that my boys loved! The fall leaf sensory writing tray and leaf sweep activities were so fun that we had to recreate them with pine needles since we are heading in to the holiday season.
You can either search for fallen pine branches outside or use pine needles from your Christmas tree before you take it down for the year. Either way, this low-waste activity is the perfect way to counteract all the excess holiday waste that is created every year.
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Here’s What We Did:
First, find a cardboard box lid and draw a simple tree outline on the inside part of the lid. This lid will help contain the pine needles.
If you want to make this activity a little easier, you can draw one large triangle for the pine tree.
Then you will need to cut some cut pine needles. We have at least 20 pine trees on our property, so it wasn’t difficult to fine a few fallen pine branches.
My four year old loved helping me cut the pine needles! It took us both about 15 minutes to cut enough needles for the activity.
I suggest not adding too many needles because it can be difficult to sweep all of them in the tree outline.
Check out Pine Needle Sensory Writing Tray for another great way to use these pine needles!
Once all of the pine needles were cut, I swept them to the outside border of the tree and invited my son to sweep them in the outline to make a tree.
Leo got sweeping right away.
You can offer a variety of paintbrushes to try. As mentioned above, we did a similar activity with leaves so I already know that Leo prefers the thicker paintbrush. They’re easier for him to hold and they sweep more pine needles at one time.
This activity is great because it took a while to finish and kept his interest the whole time! He loved the challenge of getting all of the pieces in the tree outline.
Once he was finished, Leo wanted to “decorate” the tree. I thought this was great idea since Christmas is right around the corner, so I got him some beads to place on the tree!
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I hope you give this simple activity a try! I promise, your little nature lovers will love it as much as my boys.