10 Ideas for Fine Motor Play-Based Centers using Kinetic Sand

Both of my sons have fine motor delays, so I’m constantly on the hunt for materials to engage this critical skill. One of my family members bought kinetic sand for us for Christmas, and my youngest son ADORES playing in our kinetic sandbox (which is actually a plastic file box from Target!).  We are talking hours of uninterrupted happiness here, my friends! That alone, is priceless.

Some schools focus SO much on handwriting skills in early childhood now with the trickle-down from common core, that some of these preacademic skills take a backseat.  In early childhood-there’s a profound need for kids to play with materials like clay and kinetic sand. These activities are NOT just for fun, they build the strength kids need for prewriting and writing skills!

For kids with sensory issues like mine, some detest regular sand! But the texture of kinetic sand is much different than the stuff you’d find in a traditional sandbox. Kinetic sand feels like wet brown sugar or feather-light cookie dough that you can mold and play with for hours! Honestly, after a tough day, I find myself digging my hands in too.

In terms of occupational therapeutic needs, kinetic sand give kids that critical sensory feedback-which is truly work disguised as play. Here’s a few ways we use it here at our afternoon homeschool:


  1. The old standby: dig and bury small animals and insects.
  2. Writing letters with our fingers.
  3. Stamping letters.
  4. Rolling out shapes and make pretend food.
  5. Burying our hands.
  6. Creating imaginary lands for dinosaurs and habitats for our animals.
  7. Measuring and scooping with kitchen cups and spoons.
  8. Pretending to knead a loaf of bread.
  9. Drawing with toothpicks and qtips.
  10. Making fossils with plastic animals and insects.
  11. Hiding beans and other small objects to encourage the use of the “tripod” grasp.

I wish I were a millionarie, so I could stock every classroom and homeschool with this stuff.  I really have seen dramatic improvements in my youngest son’s fine motor skills since we’ve been working with kinetic sand the past few months.  Even though it’s a bit pricey, I ordered another container so we could dig a little deeper and play a bit more.

Adding this material in to your centers rotation for early childhood, special needs, or homeschool programs, is a must for developing fine motor skills!  Plus, their engagement in it alone is worth the expense!

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Thanks for reading!


sharing@sunscholars & Tatertots&jello

This is NOT a sponsored post. We just are obsessed with kinetic sand and want to spread the happiness around. This post does contain our affiliate linkage to amazon, so if you buy anything we suggest, we receive a teeny amount. This post may also contain links to our TpT shop. Thanks for supporting our little blog!


3 Responses to 10 Ideas for Fine Motor Play-Based Centers using Kinetic Sand

  1. Krystal says:

    Some great ideas! Thanks!


  1. 5 for Friday says:

    [...] Read the ideas here for some fine motor centers. [...]

  2. [...] 10 Ideas for Fine Moro Play-Based Centers with Kinetic Sand @ The Classroom Creative  [...]

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