Fine Motor Pumpkin Play

You only need 3 things from the Dollar Tree to set up this fine motor play activity!

I was challenged to find items from my favorite store that would build fine motor skills.  Fine motor skills are the small muscle movements that are the same muscles that are used during writing.  


  • styrofoam pumpkin
  • pipe cleaners
  • drinking straws

Setting up the play invitation:

Cut the pipecleaners into sixths.  We found that these smaller pieces were easier for small hands to push into the styrofoam versus our original 1/3 length.

Gather the cut pieces of drinking straws that your child has been cutting in their cutting box. Place these into a bowl or cup.

Place all 3 items on the table for your child.

How to play:

See what your child does with the materials.  Children may choose to label the colors as they stick them into the pumpkin.  They might count how many pipe cleaners they push into the styrofoam. 

My daughter strung the straws onto the pipecleaners.  She liked matching the color of straw to the same color of pipe cleaner.

Why this is beneficial:

This activity helps children develop their pincer grasp.  This is the same grasp used to hold a pencil.  This also strengthens children's eye-hand-coordination.

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