This invitation is a simple garden fine motor activity that uses a transfer motion and also strengthens hand eye coordination.
Simple fine motor activities that combine a seasonal sensory element are an engaging and wonderful opportunity for toddlers to develop their basic skills while exploring their senses at the same time.
I love planning activities within our home around the seasons and with spring in full bloom, I knew that this simple garden themed fine motor activity invitation would draw the interest of my three year old (hello, can we say dirt?!).
I chose to use carrots in our garden, however you could use any type of vegetable, fruit or flower you desire or that your child has an interest in.
To create our garden fine motor tray, I used a serving tray, potting soil, orange and green pipe cleaners that were used to create our carrots, tweezers and an ice cube tray.
When extending any kind of play invitations to my children, I always strive for simple set ups and preparations. I enjoy placing all our activities on trays as it allows for one main focal point for the child, easy access and easy clean up!
To begin, I simply spread a thick layer of potting soil across our tray and “planted” my little carrots for my three year old to pick using his garden tool (tweezers).
I placed the ice cube tray beside his tray to allow him a place to put his harvested vegetable.
My little gardener went right to work! He was so excited to dig in the dirt and find each carrot to pick.
Initially, it took him a few tries to obtain a good pincer grasp on his tweezers. He ended up using a two hand grasp which still allowed him to utilize his fine motor skills.
The repetitive and familiar motion of picking the carrots was a great reinforcement of strength for his hand muscles.
As he picked, he combined his current interests in numbers and carefully counted each carrot while placing it in the ice cube tray. I love seeing little ones combine their learning all on their own!
For an added learning experience, after he was done harvesting his garden I had him replant his carrots while asking him what kind of shape or pattern he might want to create in the dirt.
He chose to plant them all in a cluster bunch on top of a hill that he created.
This simple garden fine motor activity with an added sensory element is the perfect way to introduce the season of spring to your little one!