Over the summer, I came upon bagfuls of small wooden spools at a local craft store. I’m always on the lookout for materials for my pre-k classroom, so I picked up a couple. Looking at them, I decided they’d be great for a variety of fine motor skills activities for my students.
Related: Dyed Wood DIY Toys for Kids
make colorful wooden spools for fine motor skills activities
I planned some colorful fine motor skills activities for the kiddos, so I decided to dye some of the wooden spools. I think the natural version is wonderful, but I needed some colorful spools too! My son really wanted to help, so I set us both up with some liquid watercolors and paintbrushes. I used watercolors from Discount School Supply, but you can find other brands HERE or HERE as well.
The kiddo and I placed small squirts of watercolors into little containers. We painted the spools and rolled them around in the watercolors until they were fully covered. I love how beautiful the colors turned out, although I’m going to add more paint to the red spools. We really should have let them sit in the watercolors a little longer, but I still love the colorful spools.
Since the spools are small, the children have to use small hand movements to manipulate them. Here are just a few of the fine motor skills activities we’ve used the dyed spools (and their natural counterparts) for:
- Building tiny towers
- Matching colored spools
- Placing counting bears one-to-one on spools and color matching spools to bears
- Placing acorns one-to-one on spools, as well as using them to count acorns
The children really seem to enjoy having the spools in our math and fine motor center. It’s always fun to watch what they’re going to do next! I picked up another bag of spools once I noticed how the kids use them. One of my girls has already pointed out that we need more colorful spools . . . and she wants to be first in line to help paint them! I love that!
Please note – I didn’t seal these colorful spools, so if they get wet I’m sure they’ll run a bit. I don’t plan on letting the kiddos put them into a water bin anytime soon, so I think we’re good!
What other fine motor skills activities would you use the colorful spools for? I’m sure we’ll fine more and more as the school year progresses.
Check out my Fine Motor Skills Pinterest Board for more ideas