Before I begin: Please see DISCLAIMER at the bottom of this post!
The idea for this fine motor/creative play activity came when I was out shopping a few weeks ago my hubby and 2 youngest kids. I wasn’t officially looking for kids’ stuff, but I’m always keeping my eye out for odd things I can use for fun play and learning times with them. (I’m sure you do too!) When I saw these round cork boards I just knew I could do something with them, so I got 3 of them and began brainstorming!
Here are some if you’re interested:
When we got home I didn’t have to wait long before I saw the missing piece to this puzzle: thumb tacks! I excitedly opened the box, pulled one out and pushed it into the cork board. It fit so perfectly that I knew they were just meant for each other! I started creating designs, writing words and having a great time, just the cork board, the thumb tacks and me. Then I heard a little voice saying, “Mommy, when is it going to be my turn?”
So I got one cork board out for my 4 year old and she got to work right away and created a cute picture of a girl, and was very proud of her work and wanted to display it right away!
Of course, my 2 year old didn’t want to be left out. At first I was hesitant to let him have a turn, because, well, they were thumb tacks–you know, small, sharp things that I usually make sure he keeps a safe distance from!
But I decided to let him have a try. First I showed him the thumb tacks and demonstrated how they were sharp and could hurt him if he poked himself with them or put them in his mouth. He looked at me as if he were thinking, “What do you think I am? A baby?!”
I stayed right there to monitor him just in case, but seriously, he was so careful, meticulous and attentive to detail, and just loved this fine motor art activity!
He spent a good 15 minutes choosing the thumb tacks and placing them carefully around the cork board. It was so cute to watch!
Just look at the pride and joy in that face! He proudly announced it was a giant cookie! (I think you can see why!)
He has done this activity many many times since, and asks for it often. It’s still a favorite!
My 7 year old came home from school and saw their cork board art on display, and wanted to try one for herself!
She decided to re-create one of her math homework assignments on the cork board–I guess you could call that modern art? Ha!
Since this was such a popular activity with my kids, I decided to search for other ideas using cork boards and thumb tacks or push pins. Guess what? There are tons of great ideas out there! Here are just a few that you might be interested in:
Cork board and push pin letters from No Time for Flash Cards
DIY hammer construction toy from A Little Delightful
Cork board and foam shapes art from Rock Paper Tijeras
Home made geo boards from Fun-a-day
Cork board alphabet game (and other ideas) from OT Equals Awesomeness
Practice writing letters with push pins from California Kindergarten Association (with free printables)
I hope you enjoyed this fun and creative round up of fine motor and learning activities from around the globe! I can’t wait to do the rest of these with my kids! I can’t decide which one to do first; I just know they will be a hit!
DISCLAIMER: This post involves using small items known as thumb tacks (or you may use push pins) in fine motor play and creative play. Accidents can happen when children use small, sharp objects, so please be extra mindful of your child’s safety and never leave them unattended while doing this activity. If you don’t feel at ease, please do not do any of these activities with your child.