Try These Fine Motor Skills Activities for 7 Year Olds

Help your child strengthen their small hand muscles! Check out these fine motor skills activities for 7 year olds you can do at home.

Fine Motor Skills Activities for 7 Year OldsAppalling handwriting, unrecognizable drawings, struggling to dress herself… Your child isn’t exactly mastering her fine motor skills the way her peers are. But while you may have brushed it off when she was younger, she’s now 7 years old… and you’re growing more concerned.

She’s had zero interest in drawing and holds her utensils incorrectly (she’s become quite the messy eater). She’s bright and loves to read but avoids activities that focus on fine motor skills. Because she can’t hold a pencil properly, her writing and drawings look more like scribbles.

Even her teacher has noticed that she needs more fine motor practice.

Fine motor skills activities for 7 year olds

It’s becoming clear that your 7 year old is having difficulties with manual dexterity. From buttoning shirts to piecing puzzles together, tasks that should be easy continue to be a challenge. While you don’t want to push her too hard, you still want to help her improve, even if indirectly. What are some ideas to try?

The first place to start is with a call to her pediatrician or teacher. They can point you to professional resources like therapy and create an action plan catered to her particular challenges.

That said, if you’re interested in activities you can do at home, you’ve come to the right place. Below, I share several fine motor skills activities for 7 year olds that older kids this age can enjoy. Now that she’s older, she can do a few more activities that her younger counterparts may not.

Take a look at these activities below—hopefully, you can find a few to try at home:

1. Sort small items

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Enlist your child’s help with sorting and organizing small items. Does she have a piggy bank or a jar of loose change? Sort the coins by type and place them in coin wrappers. You could even use the coins to buy a special treat!

Perhaps you have different-colored beads that she can sort into ice cube trays, or loose buttons you’d like to place in a storage tray or envelope. Maybe you’d like to sort paper clips by color or place extra seeds from frayed envelopes into sturdier glass jars.

This helps develop the pincer grasp as she uses her fingers to grasp small items.

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2. Create a toothpick structure

Do you have a bag of leftover marshmallows from making s’mores? Create a structure using toothpicks! Encourage your child to create whatever pops into his mind, or make it a challenge and give him a task to complete (like creating a pyramid or a square).

3. Pop bubble wrap

Put all those shipping materials you get in the mail to use! Have your child pop bubble wrap, both large and small. You can cut larger materials into more manageable sizes, or simply have her pop each one down a row.

4. Thread with beads

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Grab several beads and have your child thread them through yarn, pipe cleaners, twine, or a shoe lace. Don’t have beads? Substitute with large dried pasta like penne or rigatoni. Or get a beading toy like this that’s catered to older kids and comes ready to use and play with.

5. Play with toys that promote fine motor skills

Many toys lend themselves well to exercising the small muscles of the hand. A few favorites include:

  • Lego and construction toys
  • Playdough (perfect for squeezing, pinching, or pushing buttons into)
  • Puzzle pieces
  • Pegboards
  • Pompoms (use tweezers to sort them by color!)

6. Offer writing tools

Encourage writing by having plenty of writing tools around the house. Don’t designate only one spot like his desk as the writing area. Instead, scatter several writing materials everywhere, from the dining table to the living room.

Then, think about different types of writing tools and not just pencils and crayons. For instance, is there a set of “artist pencils” to entice him to draw? Interesting sticks of charcoal or chalk? Colored markers in various thicknesses?

Similarly, stack different types of paper, from lined paper to graph, construction paper to cardstock. This can offer a unique variety of writing tools beyond pencils and paper.

7. Cut with scissors

Practice cutting with scissors to help develop your child’s fine motor skills! The trick is to get a good pair of scissors that cut well and are sized to children’s hands, as well as cutting small yet thick pieces of paper.

The paper can be anything sturdy, from thick cardstock to “junk mail” postcards we all get in the mail. Cut them into smaller, more manageable sizes like 6×6″ squares. You can even turn the cutting activity into a craft by gluing the pieces onto another larger sheet to make a collage.

8. Self-care tasks

Some of the best ways to encourage fine motor skills are through daily tasks that you can start allowing your child to do on his own.

We’ve all been pressed to do these tasks ourselves because we do them better and quicker. But by letting your child handle some of these tasks, you can save time in the long run, encourage him to be more independent, and of course, develop his fine motor skills. For instance, he can:

  • Pull the zippers up and down jackets, pants, or backpacks
  • Squeeze the toothpaste onto a toothbrush
  • Fasten snap buttons or regular ones on a shirt
  • Using rubber bands to tie hair

Learn how to teach a child to dress themselves.

How to teach a child to dress themselves

9. Squeezing activities

Help your child exercise the small muscles in his hand through squeezing activities. Here are a few ideas:

  • Squeeze sponges of water. Have him soak a sponge in one bowl of water, then squeeze the water out into a second bowl. Or have a “car wash” where he can wash small toy cars in a bowl of water using sponges and toothbrushes.
  • Squish balls of play dough. He could mix two colors to make a third one or shape them into balls before squishing them into a different shape.
  • Attach clothespins or binder clips onto a thick piece of small cardstock (he can also slide regular paper clips onto the cardstock).
  • Use kitchen tongs or toy tweezers to pick up small items, from dried cereal to pompoms.


It’s all too easy to worry about your child when she can hardly write legibly, much less zip her own clothes. Hopefully, with these fine motor skills activities for 7 year olds, you got a few ideas to help her improve using everyday tasks and materials.

Sort small items and create a toothpick structure. Pop bubble wrap you get in the mail or cut cardstock to make a collage. Soon, she can button her shirts and piece puzzle pieces together—and so much more—with ease.

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