The Frugal OT Series: Fine Motor Monsters

Dollar Tree Find of the Month: Fine Motor Monsters

These cute little monsters are perfect for building fine motor skills. Run to your local Dollar Tree and grab a container of Play-Doh. Pop over to the craft section and toss some wiggle eyes into your basket, grab a bag of beads and a box of toothpicks and you are all set! Children will enjoy making a cute little monster of their own. Of course, while working on the following fine motor skills.

  • grasping skills (pincer and 3-jaw chuck or tripod)
  • strengthening
  • hand separation
  • bilateral coordination
  • eye-hand coordination
  • pressure grading (figuring out how much force to apply)
  • spatial relations

Dollar Tree Supplies Needed:

  • Play-Doh
  • Wiggle Eyes
  • Toothpicks
  • Beads
The Frugal OT Series. Fine Motor Monsters Supply List
Fine Motor Monsters Supply List

How To Make the Monsters:

Open the Play-Doh container and pull out the contents. Pinch off a nice size piece that will serve as the base or head of your monster. Use both hands to roll the Play-Doh into a nice round ball. Push one or more of the wiggly eyes into the ball. Push toothpicks into the Play-Doh to form the antennae. Place beads on the toothpicks for a colorful spin.

Grade Down (Make it Easier)

Pinch off the Play-Doh for the child

Use the table surface instead of hands to form a ball with the Play-Doh

Use beads with a larger diameter to assist the child with placing the beads onto the toothpick 

Grade Up (Make it Harder):

Work on building visual perceptual and visual-motor integration skills by having the child build their monster to match a model. Place several beads on the toothpicks to work on visual scanning and tracking skills.

Build In-hand manipulation skills

Translation is the ability to move objects from the palm of one’s hand to the fingertips and from the fingertips to the palm. By ages 6 to 7, children are typically able to manipulate and secure multiple small objects within their hands. Practice this skill with the beads. Using one hand, have the child pick up one bead at a time and move it from fingertips to palm. Try collecting 5 and then place them onto the toothpick.  

Frugal OT Series Fine Motor Monsters

As Always, have fun!


The Fun Strokes blog is designed for educational and informational use only for teachers, therapists, and parents. It is not intended as medical advice or therapeutic treatment that would be provided in an individualized treatment plan. If you suspect a child has delays, please consult an occupational therapist.


Published by Linda Craig Dennis

Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Author and Creator of Fun Strokes Pre-writing Program

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