Fine Motor Activity: Cutting Straws and Play Dough

Who knew that cutting straws and play dough with scissors could be so fun? My son spent a long time playing and developing fine motor skills with this simple activity!

Cutting practice for preschoolers. Developing fine motor skills with straws and play dough.

Today I left scissors, straws and play dough on a craft tray and invited Evan to create whatever he wanted. It was amazing to watch his creativity flourish. I love that he can take a few simple supplies and use his imagination to create anything he wants to.

He still needs a lot of fine motor practice, so I am continuing to look for fun and motivating ways to develop those small hand muscles. Play dough is always a great way to do that, but he also needs a lot of cutting practice. Adding the scissors and straws to the mix was just what he needed. He was highly motivated throughout this activity.

Supplies Needed:

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  • Scissors
  • Play dough
  • Straws

Setting Up the Invitation to Create

1. I laid the supplies out on our craft tray and that was all.

Fine motor development with straws, play dough and scissors.

Developing Fine Motor Skills with Play Dough, Straws and Scissors

Cutting straws is highly motivational cutting practice!

Evan immediately began cutting the straws with the scissors. He loved that pieces went flying when he snipped the straw. They were highly motivating for him and a great way to encourage him to practice cutting.

Creating with straws and play dough.

Then he decided that he was going to make monsters. He cut some of the straws into tiny little pieces and others he only cut in half so he could use them as legs and arms. He molded the play dough and then stuck the straws into the play dough.

He also asked me to get him some wiggly eyes. Those are always a great addition to play dough. He stuck them on the monster’s head, but then decided to make play dough eyes instead. His monster looked pretty cool when he was done.

Rolling play dough into strips and then cutting it.

Then he began to making long strips of play dough by rolling it in between his hands. He made a bunch of strips and lined them up on the tray. Eventually, he decided to cut the strips with the scissors.

Cutting straws and cutting play dough.

He went back and forth between all of the supplies and created all kinds of stories to go with the things he was making.  He enjoyed this so much! It is definitely something I plan to do again.

Here are some related activities I think you will want to check out!

Creating with Sticks and Play Dough

Sidewalk Puffy Paint

Ocean Play Dough Invitation