This fine motor knot tying activity is one that my kids have been playing with a lot recently. The fine motor skills that are developed with this simple activity are immense.
While simply tying knots with small pieces of ribbon, children can develop bilateral coordination, pincer grasp, an open thumb web space, dexterity, and strength of the hand muscles.
I love coming up with simple activities for my kids. Easy, low-prep activities like this one interest the child and develop so many skills in fun ways.
Kids don’t realize they are building essential skills when they are playing and exploring!
For this activity, I used ribbon from our craft stash to create a ribbon bin.
Fine Motor Knot Tying Activity
We have a large bin of scrap ribbon that is just waiting for ribbon crafts and activities.
I had the kids pull out a few of their favorite ribbons and asked them to cut small pieces.
For this fine motor knot tying activity, you’ll want the ribbon to be between 4-8 inches long. Smaller bits of ribbon are harder to tie, so this is one way to grade the activity for older children.
Try to find ribbon that varies in width and texture.
We’ve gathered our ribbon collection from birthday gifts over the years and found many types in clearance bins. If you see a ribbon on packaging, be sure to save it for this type of fine motor activity. A collection of ribbons will come in handy, and can be used for loads of fine motor activities, like this one.
To set up the fine motor knot tying activity, I pulled out a small basket and tied a few ribbons into knots.
Other ribbons were left untied.
With that, the activity was prepped and my kids were ready to play!
I showed my preschooler how to untie and tie the knots using both hands.
Pulling the ribbon apart to untie was understandably easier for my four year old.
While she tugged and pulled at the knot, she used skills such as:
- Bilateral coordination to work both hands together in a coordinated manner
- Pincer grasp to pinch the ribbon between the thumb and pointer finger
- Open thumb web space to make an “O” shaped space between the thumb and pointer finger
- Hand strength development of the small muscles in the hands as they pulled at the knot
- Eye-Hand Coordination to pull at the correct place in the knot in order to untie.
After all of the ribbons were untied, my daughter wanted to keep going with more knots!
I showed her how to tie the ribbons into simple knots by making a loop and pushing on end of the ribbon through the loop. This task took a bit of practice, but she was a knot tying champ in no time!
This knot tying activity has become a hit in our house. I’ve left the basket of ribbon out for my kids to tie and untie throughout the day.
It’s also been a great busy-bag type of activity: one that I can give to my preschooler while the bigger kids are doing homework.