ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Classic Games that Promote Fine Motor Skills in Children 5 and Up

Updated on July 17, 2018
rmcrayne profile image

Rose Mary, an Occupational Therapist since 1987, is experienced with pre-term infants, early intervention, school therapy, and home health.

Board Games
Board Games | Source

These games are for children 5 years old and up. I have previously written articles on board games like Chutes and Ladders, and card and dice games like Picture Dominos, for children 3 to 8. The games in this article are geared toward coordination and hand manipulation. Also, strategy is different from that of board, card and dice games.

Many of these games were listed by the manufacturer as being for 3- to 6-year-olds. Although a 3-year old may understand the concept of the games, most would not have the motor skills necessary to play the game, and would therefore be quite frustrated. Also, given the number of adults I found in photos and videos playing these games, it would obviously be a shame to have a 6 year old cut-off.

I have included Amazon ratings for each game. Consistently, buyers complain that the game is cheaply made compared to the game of their childhood. I use a variety of toys and games in my practice as a pediatric occupational therapist. There are a few games that I had as a child, that seemed to last forever, that I would agree that new ones I have bought for therapy are definitely not as durable. While I appreciate the manufacturers trying to keep costs appealing to consumers, I for one would rather pay a little more and get a quality product. For now, that is simply just not an option on most classic games.

On some of the games, reviewers offer easy fixes to the problem. For example, putting a few coins in the bottom of the bucket for the Don’t Spill the Beans game. I recommend buyer beware. Look at customer reviews. I would almost always stay away from a game that rated less than 3 on a 1 to 5 scale. I look at the distribution of ratings, then read some of the 1- and 2-star reviews, and see why buyers didn’t like the product, and if there are work-arounds.

The motor skills Games featured in this article:

  • Barrel of Monkeys
  • Ants in the Pants
  • Please Don’t Spill the Beans
  • Bouncin’ Tigger Game
  • Don’t Break the Ice
  • Thin Ice
  • Hot Potato
  • Toss Across
  • Monkeying Around
  • Let’s Go Fishin’

Barrel of Monkeys

Young children enjoy putting the monkeys in and out of the barrel
Young children enjoy putting the monkeys in and out of the barrel | Source

Number of Players: 1 or more players

Ages: 5 and up.

Brief Overview: Link monkeys together by looping a monkey arm with the arm of the last monkey on the chain. Repeat, attempting to link 12 monkeys.

Amazon Customer Rating: 4.2 of 5 stars, from 230 raters.

Skills: Motor coordination and endurance.

Versions: Color of monkeys may vary.

Modifications: Manufacturers recommend this game for 3 and up. Three year olds could use both hands to try to link the monkeys. Most would be too short to link 12 monkeys in a strand.

Barrel of Monkeys

Ants in the Pants

Source

Number of Players: 2 to 4 players.

Age: 5 and up.

Brief Overview: Each player has 4 ants, measuring 2.5” each. On go, players begin flipping ants. First player to get all 4 of their ants into Fido’s pants wins.

Amazon Customer Rating: 4.0 of 5 stars from 159 raters. Chief complaint was that it was too difficult and therefore frustrating for 3- and 4-year olds. As you can see, I adjusted the age, as I have for many of the games in this series.

Skills: Fine motor control and accuracy. Gauging of pressure and force to control trajectory.

Versions: SpongeBob with 4 of 5 stars from 4 raters.

Modifications: Let younger children stand closer and throw instead of flip ants. Suitable for solitary play to practice skills.

Don't Spill the Beans

Source

Number of Players: 2 to 4 players.

Ages: 5 and up.

Brief Overview: Players take turns dropping beans one at a time onto the top surface of the bean pot while it toddlers. Eventually the pot will tip to one side spilling all of the beans. The first player to run out of beans wins.

Amazon Customer Rating: 3.1 of 5 stars from 210 raters. Chief complaints: Pot tips after about 10 beans, which one rater easily remedied by placing a few coins in the bottom of the pot for weight and stability. Other complaints of 3 year old children not enjoying the game.

Skills: Fine manipulation and control. Counting skills.

Modifications: Weight pot as above.

Bouncin' Tigger Game

Source

Number of Players: 1 or more players.

Ages: 5 and up.

Brief Overview: Players help Tigger get ready to go on a picnic by piling his picnic supplies on him. Items have loops and hooks. Be the one to pile on too much and Tigger springs and drops everything.

Amazon Customer Rating: 3 of 5 stars by 2 raters, one who bought it for her 3 year old, and thought Tigger was supposed to continually bounce, and rated the game a one. (There is a bouncing Tigger that is not a game, and bounce &/or wiggle.) The other rater gave the game a 5, and stated her child had the game over a year and had held up well.

Skills: Fine motor coordination and control.

Don't Break the Ice

Don't Break the Ice Game
Don't Break the Ice Game | Source

Number of Players: 2 players.

Ages: 5 and up.

Brief Overview: Players take turns tapping out ice blocks with a rubber mallet. Try not to be the one that topples the polar bear.

Amazon Customer Rating: 4.3 of 5 stars from 517 raters.

Skills: Coordination and control; strategy.

Versions: Don’t Break the Ice Mini Cootie Assortment game, Disney Frozen.

Modifications: Suitable for 1 player to play and practice skills.

Thin Ice

Source

Number of Players: 2 or more players.

Age: 5 and up.

Brief Overview: A tissue forms the play surface. Players take turns using tongs to retrieve marbles one at a time from the water trough and place on the surface. Quickly pass tongs because whoever is holding the tongs when the surface breaks, collects a letter, starting with “I”. Loser is the first to spell ICE.

Amazon Customer Rating: Rating of 3.9 of 5 stars from 62 raters. Early complaints were that the tissue tore too easily. I presume the manufacturer attempted to rectify the situation, but now buyers are complaining the tissue is too thick and doesn’t tear easily enough. Several noted they use regular tissue, which works well.

Skills: Fine motor control, grading and tool use.

Modifications: Consider placing 2 layers of tissue. Suitable for 1 player to practice skills.

Hot Potato

Source

Number of Players: 2 to 6 players.

Ages: 5 and up.

Brief Overview: Similar to Musical Chairs. Squeeze the potato to start the music. Pass the potato among players. If you have possession of the potato when the music stops, you must collect a potato chip. Collect 3 chips and you are out of the game. Squeeze again to reactive the music and continue play. Last person standing wins.

Amazon Customer Rating: 4.3 of 5 stars from 1325 raters for musical electronic hot potato shown.

Skills: Arm coordination for throwing.

Versions: Soft and hard shell and musical potatoes available.

Modifications: Younger children can stand closer for throwing.

Hot Potato

Toss Across

Source

Number of Players: 2 players or teams.

Ages: 5 and up.

Brief Overview: Players take turns throwing bean bags to play Tic Tac Toe.

Amazon Customer Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars from 179 raters (version shown at right.

Skills: Coordination for throwing and aim.

Versions: Hello Kitty, Simpsons, Pirates of the Caribbean, NY Jets, NY Giants, Yankees/Red Sox, NBA East/West, Travel Game.

Modifications: More than 2 players or teams could take turns at play.

Toss Across

Monkeying Around

Monkeying Around game
Monkeying Around game | Source

Number of Players: 2 to 4 players.

Ages: 5 and up.

Brief Overview: There are 32 hanging monkeys, 8 each of 4 colors. Players take turns spinning to see how many monkeys they must remove from the tree without upsetting the treetop.

Amazon Customer Rating: 4.1 of 5 stars from 146 raters.

Skills: Coordination and control to remove monkeys.

Modifications: Suitable for solitary play to practice skills.

Let's Go Fishin'

Source

Number of Players: 1 to 4 players.

Ages: 5 and up.

Brief Overview: Players take turns trying to catch a total of 21 fish with their fishing poles. Fish are circling in the pond, moving up and down, and their mouths are opening and closing.

Amazon Customer Rater: 3.9 of 5 stars from 2063 raters.

Skills: Coordination and timing.

Versions: Toy Story, Hello Kitty, Dory, travel game.

Let's Go Fishin Game

© 2009 rmcrayne

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • rmcrayne profile imageAUTHOR

    rmcrayne 

    9 years ago from San Antonio Texas

    Thanks Christy. Remember playing Don't Spill the Beans together?

  • profile image

    Christy8914 

    9 years ago

    Wow, reading this sure brought back memories. I played many of these games. Who knew I was working on learning skills that one day may make or lose me money!!! Keep writing RM

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)