The little suction cups on the bottom of these bathtub shapes become mini bowls when turned upside down and used in this activity. (These can be purchased at the Dollar Tree.) Children use a finger grasp to squeeze one drop of colored water into each little bowl on the dish.
Beads with Suction Cups
These are the same bathtub shapes as in the above activity. Children use their thumb and forefinger to grasp each little bead and place it on a bowl on the shape. The beads are pony beads purchased from a craft store.
A clear cup of multicolored faceted plastic beads was placed in the middle of the tray. The children use their thumb and forefinger to grasp each bead and place it in one of the bowls of the paint palette tray. The children sort the beads into the tray by color. Each bowl of the tray holds about 4 beads. A muffin tin could also be used for this activity, but with the paint palette tray each bowl is smaller and the children have to be more precise about placing the bead into the bowl. The beads and paint palette trays can be purchased in a craft store.
Children use their finger muscles to squeeze the tweezers in order to pick up each pom pom and place it in the ice cube tray. These colored pom poms can be purchased in craft stores.
Pom Poms with Tongs
Children use their hand muscles to squeeze the tongs in order to pick up each pom pom and place it in the bottle.
Children use their fine motor muscles to squeeze the clothespins to clip each piece of clothing to the clothesline. Tie a piece of thick string to the handles of a wooden tray to make the clothesline, and you can use mini clothespins (although the regular sized clothespins can be used as well). The clothes are Barbie doll clothes purchased at a dollar store. As an alternative, you could cut out shapes of shirts and pants from felt or construction paper.
Children squeeze the clothespins and clip them to the sides of the box. To make the activity more interesting, Write letters on dot stickers and place the dot stickers around the sides of the boxes. Write letters on the clothespins so the children can match the letters on the clothespins to the letters on the boxes. Other skills could be used, e.g. colors, numbers, beginning sounds. This is similar to activities where children clip clothespins to a paper plate or cardstock circle; however, those are flimsy and awkward to use, which is why the box will work better. Any sturdy box could be used (shoe box, postal box). You can also use cereal or food boxes from the pantry.