Fine Motor Lacing

Recently our oldest has started to ask very serious questions about love and marriage… did I mention I’m looking for a pause button to stop them from growing up so quickly?! Its heartwarming to witness their little minds grow as they begin to understand more complicated things.

Valentine’s Day is SUCH a cute holiday to celebrate with preschoolers. This is an event I look forward to all year round because:

a. I love to celebrate

b. I have an excuse to hug and kiss the kids all day

c. Chocolate

d. Reece’s Pieces heart chocolates

e. Choc-o-late

I like to plan themed activities for the kiddos so that they have an opportunity for play-based learning about upcoming holidays and events. We love to sneak in tons of sensory development by focusing on both fine and gross motor skills.

The boys LOVE playing with teeny tiny things, which is great for their fine motor development!

Back when my hubby and I were trusting of silence, we had a rice table for the kids to play with. WARNING: do not ever use a rice table unless it is for yourself and you are an extremely calm and coordinated person. I’m still vacuuming up grains of rice [facepalm]. After we packed up the rice, we tried another medium: beads. Of course I went out and bought the super small jewelry beads. You can probably guess how that turned out. Finally, we upgraded to large wooden beads and folks, we’ve found a winner. After the novelty of swishing, stacking, etc with the beads wore off, I gave the kids a lacing string to play with. Guess what. The house was quiet! It was amazing.

The level of focus and determination that the boys have when they are lacing beads is impressive! This is a great quiet activity for your toddler to try out and some of the benefits of lacing include: increased hand-eye coordination, greater dexterity, development of a strong pincer grasp, greater ability to focus, AND honing in a new skill that will promote mindful awareness.

First, set up a space where your child will feel invited to play. I’d recommend arranging the beads on a tray that has edges or a baking sheet, so that the beads will not go flying everywhere. Place small scoopers or spoons in the tray for you kiddo to explore with. They will likely want to scoop and pour the beads for a few minutes. Once their attention is more focused, introduce the concept of lacing.

Second, model the lacing activity and then let your little have a try.

We decided to make a fireplace garland to spruce up the house for Valentine’s Day. If this is something you’d like to try, follow the steps below :)


- wooden beads

- lacing string

- pink, red, white felt

- twine


Felt Heart Garland

Cut approximately 4 ft of twine.

Cut 12 heart shapes out of the felt. Use scissors to add a small slice or hole onto the top left corner of each heart.

Arrange hearts in the pattern you would like for your garland. I chose pink-white-pink-white.

Tie a double knot at one end of the twine. Begin lacing the twine through the hearts and double knot the other end once complete.

Wooden Bead Garland

Ask your kiddo to help with this project- they’ll love it!

Cut approximately 4 ft of lacing string (or twine if you prefer).

Tie a double knot at one of end of the string or twine. Begin lacing the beads! I wanted to have a pattern for the beads based on size (i.e. large-large-large-small) but the boys were not on board with that idea lol. It turned out even cuter because the sizes were mix-matched!

Viola…. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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