My son and I were playing together the other day when a fun fine-motor skills game popped into my head. Fine-motor skills are important pre-writing foundations. There are small muscles in the fingers which we have to learn to co-ordinate and strengthen in order to write. Lumped in with this is also hand-eye coordination, which is another important learned skill.
We were playing with plastic bugs but you could use dice, buttons, small dolls, matchbox cars anything that is small enough to be picked up with chopsticks.
We put the bugs into a serving bowl, got out our ‘tea party’ plates and chopsticks. We have a pair of ‘kids chopsticks’ which are easier to use, but we don’t practice enough so he’s still figuring them out. He ‘served’ the bugs up using the chopsticks, and created a bunch of rules about what colour could go on which plate and whom could eat what. Creating rules is pretty typical play for a kid this age, it’s fun to share the play with him and observe the rules he creates, because they are tiny windows into his developing personality and give a good sense of what is going on in his mind currently.
Super simple, and he played with it for a long time, quite fascinated at the chopstick bug challenge, all while giving his fingers a workout.