Mini Monets and Mommies: 7 Ways to Build Fine Motor Skills with Messy Art Activities

Thursday, August 7, 2014

7 Ways to Build Fine Motor Skills with Messy Art Activities

Hands-on learning is fun! Does that seem overly simple? It might be, but it’s also true. Your child doesn’t want to sit glued to his chair copying letter after letter after letter after letter after letter….Wow, that’s starting to sound boring, isn’t it? Yes, there are certain academic and developmental tasks that he’ll need to master – especially before he starts school. He’ll need to learn his 1,2,3’s and A,B,C’s. He’ll need to know how to use a pair of scissors, write with a pencil or pen and he’ll need to master self-care activities such as tying his own shoes or zipping his coat. That said, there’s no reason why you can’t add some entertainment to your child’s education!

Fine motor activity
Art is an awesome way for your child to develop his fine motor skills. Hand-eye coordination, dexterity and the like are part of making art. If your child is anything like mine – he loves making a mess. When my son was 3-years-old we had the “mud factory” on the backyard. In the summer he used to add buckets of water to the dirt in our yard (ok, so I wasn’t the best gardener and just couldn’t keep the plants alive). I remember the look of joy in his face as he splished, splashed and smacked the mud around. I also remember the sheer terror in my neighbor’s face as she attempted to stop her 2- and 5-year-olds from joining in. I say, join in with the messy fun. Let your child explore experiment and make his own discoveries as he creates an avalanche of art.

In the spirit of things that go boom, crash and splash, here are some of my favorite messy art activities for kids (click on the pictures to see the full activities):


Balloon Paint Splatter

If Jackson Pollock used a balloon instead of a brush this is what you’d get. Want to make it extra messy? After the art-making is over pop the paint-covered balloon for your child. Caution!!!!!  It’s nearly impossible to find anything messier than a popping painted balloon. Do this outside. It’s been weeks since I did this and I’m still finding paint splatters everywhere.
Balloon art

Frozen Primary Colors

Make up a batch of red, yellow and blue ice cubes. Use food coloring to make primary color cups of water. Combine the two in a super-splish splashy way.
Frozen art

Tempera Paint Shaker

See what happens when your child reuses an old plastic berry container as a paint shaker. Hint: it’s a messy masterpiece!

Tempera paint
Glitter Flags

You don’t have to wait until July 4th to try this American art activity. So much glitter. Oh, so much glitter.

Sparkle craft
Dirt Letters

Explore nature, using dirt as an imaginative art material.

Play Nature
Oil Pastel Finger Paints

They aren’t as messy as temperas, but when you mix veggie oil with them, oil pastels transform into fun finger paints.

Oil paints
Finger Paints

Speaking of finger paints, here are seven ways to up the artsy ante.

Texture Play

Are you looking for even more art ideas? Follow my Pinterest board to find activities galore!
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Creative Kids Crafts on Pinterest.


  1. Great collection. Following your board now. I blog at the below link. Drop in sometime.

  2. Lots of great messy play here. The balloon looks very effective

  3. I love all of these, especially the glitter! Thanks for sharing at #Pintorials

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  5. Children can greatly benefit from messy art activities as they improve their fine motor abilities. Playdough sculpting, finger painting, and using pipettes with colored water are among activities that promote finger dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and sensory exploration. These stimulating activities help young learners develop their imagination and creativity in addition to their motor skills.General law encompasses rules and regulations established by governments to maintain order, protect rights, and ensure justice. It includes civil, criminal, and administrative law, governing areas like contracts, property, and personal conduct. Law serves to resolve disputes, penalize unlawful actions, and provide a framework for societal functioning, ensuring fairness and security within the community.
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