Fine Motor Threading with Nature

Make a Reggio Emilia inspired threading activity using play dough, leaves and stems to encourage dexterity and fine motor control skills.

Fine Motor Threading with Nature MI

Threading objects is a wonderful way for children to strengthen their fine motor skills which forms the foundation for using tools such as pens, scissors and cutlery effectively as they grow older.

A while ago I posted a threading activity with straws, spaghetti and play dough. This threading activity is a take on that one but using natural, tactile objects, inspired by the Reggio approach.

I made up a batch of my no-cook play dough, omitting the food colouring. I did add a little lavender and chamomile oil for an added calming, sensory touch.

Fine Motor Threading with Nature 1

We collected leaves from the garden which had fallen off trees and hedges and we found used some thin stems from some flowers we had in the house to thread onto. Make sure that the stems are smooth with no sharp thorns. We used a craft punch
to stamp holes into each leaf, this is great for little fingers to press down and strengthen their muscles; a regular hole punch would work well too! Try to use stiff, strong leaves as they take the holes much better.

Fine Motor Threading with Nature 3

Fine Motor Threading with Nature 4

We stuck the stems into the play dough and away S (2.5yrs) went threading the leaves carefully onto each stem. She exclaimed that she was “making a tree”.

Fine Motor Threading with Nature 5

Though she enjoys doing this with spaghetti and straws, she loved using the natural materials! Being so tactile and interesting to hold, natural objects lend themselves so well to playful learning.

Fine Motor Threading with Nature 6

After threading all of the leaves onto the stems she wanted to do it again so carefully removed the leaves. She stayed playing at the tray for quite some time and even decided to add some wooden animals to her play!

Fine Motor Threading with Nature 8

Did you enjoy this activity? Be sure to follow my Reggio Pinterest board for more ideas and inspiration…

Follow Beth @ Wings and Roots’s board Reggio on Pinterest.

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