Pinpicks: Motor Skills

Honestly, I am a tiny bit terrified of teaching Year One.

I’ve been a Key Stage Two teacher ever since I started as an NQT, and I am used to kids who can, you know, hold pencils properly, and read without saying the words out loud, and who know when they need to go to the toilet and so are less likely to have little accidents…

And I’m a bit intimidated by the actual content of what I’ve got to teach, as well. Phonics? Full stops? Fine motor skills? Just the thought gives me palpitations. Honestly, I would be far more at home with long division and subordinate clauses!

However. A Year One teacher I am, and scary fundamental stuff I have to teach, and so once again I have turned to good old Pinterest in my hour of need. For you, and for me, here are five fab motor skills activities to start the new school year as you mean to go on:

  1. Flower Pot Trees
Funky little beaded trees

For a cute and re-usable motor skills activity, thread pipe-cleaners through the holes in a flower pot to form the branches of a tree. Then provide pots of colourful pony bead ‘fruit’ for the children to thread on. You could combine this with a counting activity for some cross-curricular action!

2. Autumn Necklaces

Autumn leaf necklaces

Provide a range of crispy autumn leaves, hole punches and string, and let the children go to town on their own autumnal jewellery. You could set challenges, such as threading the string through five, six or even seven holes in a single leaf.

3. Seed Sorting

Seed Sorting from

All you need for this activity is a partitioned tray or set of bowls, seeds, and a pair of tweezers. Jumble the seeds and have the kidlings sort them out. And wouldn’t it be really, really nice if the seeds were seasonal, and at the end of the activity you planted them? Just saying…

4. Pegging out the washing

Super cute activity from

I have about ten billion of these tiny wooden pegs, which are so cute I couldn’t resist them, but so tiny that they’re pretty much useless for anything… EXCEPT FOR THIS! Draw (or print out) little garments and laminate them, and then have the kids ‘peg out the washing’ onto a line or letter rack. So blimmin’ adorable.

5. Chopstick Bottle Tops

Super idea from

Only do this one if you have a good sink area, or you’re not precious about wet desks. Fill a bowl, float a lot of bottle tops (this would handily stop my guilt about chucking milk bottle tops in the bin), give the children a couple of sticks and challenge them to fish them all out. Best put waterproof aprons on the kids first, though.

So, there we have it! Some great ideas that I’m looking forward to having a go at in September.

What motor skills activities do you use in your classroom?


2 thoughts on “Pinpicks: Motor Skills

  1. I started teaching Kindergarten and have only moved up from there. So I’m in the opposite position of each year thinking Wow, they can do so much! It’s funny how teachers like you that move down, have the opposite experience… OMG they know nothing!


    • Yes, for me it’s been quite an eye-opener to see how little they get done in an hour, bless them! But I imagine it’s rather nice to go up each year, with a really good idea of the knowledge they should have gained from previous teachers. As a new teacher I remember finding it quite tricky to grasp what Year Sixes should already know, and what I should and should not accept from them in terms of quality of work!


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