I came across this webpage on handwriting. The entire site has been fun to browse. I don’t even remember how I ended up at the site, but I'm glad I found it. The page has a great list of fun fine motor activities. Since I’m looking for fine motor activities to do with Michael, and fun activities to do with the children in general, I was pretty excited.
I decided to do the eye dropper art. I gathered eye droppers (something I had gotten months ago for art projects and never used), paper towels, cookie trays, food coloring, a cup of water, and ice cube trays before I called the kids over to the kitchen table. (Please excuse the blurriness of the picture. I didn't realize it was so bad, but at least it gives you an idea of what the prep looked like.)
I did a sanity check and decided propping the eye droppers in ice cube trays wouldn’t work and switched them out for empty baby food jars: two for Michael, two for Ava, and two for me. I brought the kids in and we talked about how water is clear but when we add the food coloring to it we can make it pretty colors. I let them choose the colors to make. Ava chose pink and green. Michael chose pink and yellow. I chose purple and blue. They loved watching the food coloring drop into the water and combine as we swirled.
Then I stuck an eye dropper in each jar and let them start. I quickly realized neither child knew how to use an eye dropper. Michael picked it up pretty quickly. Ava took a little more time but eventually got it. Michael didn’t have the patience (or fine motor control) to do only one drop at a time even when I encouraged him and showed him with my picture that you could do things like make flowers using one drop at a time.
He did stay engaged in the activity for nearly twenty minutes though which is a major accomplishment. Usually he’ll only do an art activity for a few minutes before getting bored/frustrated and wanting to quit. Ava loved it too. She actually remained at the table another ten minutes or so after Michael left to do another one.
I think the finished products are rather pretty. Mine is the one that looks vaguely like flowers. Ava’s are the small ones and Michael’s is the other large one.
I’m going to do this project again. We all enjoyed it and it’s good fine motor practice. Perhaps if I demonstrate how to make a train track or road or something like that he’ll be motivated to fine tune a little more?