After-Gardening Fine Motor Skills Practice

After gardening fine motor skills practice for toddlers

How to practice fine motor skills in the garden with tree cuttings. A fun fine motor activity for toddlers and preschoolers. Outdoor fine motor practice for children.

We recently moved to a new city due to my husbands work. Here we were finally able to afford renting a house. The house is quite small and it’s a bit old but it is enough for the three of us and the best part is that we finally have a garden.


Two weeks ago one of our neighbors came to us and said that our trees are too tall and they were affecting their garden. The trees are only two meters high and are one meter away from their property, but that’s another story :). To avoid any problems with our new neighbors my husband decided to just trim the trees last weekend.


Tutu loves helping daddy with all the gardening tasks and she was very interested in what daddy was doing. When the trees were ready they collected the branches and the small pieces of trunk and put them on a side and we all forgot about them until wednesday. Wednesday was sunny and, Tutu and I decided to spend some time just playing in our garden. When we were playing I saw the small pieces of trunk and it came to my mind that it was a great opportunity to talk about the parts of the tree and I could show her how the trunk looks inside.

Toddler fine motor skills practice

I took the pieces of trunk and the branches and we sat down and learned all the names (in spanish). Then I wanted to show her how the trunk looked inside and I realized that it was really easy to get the bark off the trunk. When I started doing it she started: “mama tutu tutu”, meaning she wanted to do it. So I just peel a little part of the bark to make it easier for her and let her pull until it was completely off. She enjoyed it so much that she did it with 4 or 5 pieces of trunk and with the branches as well. And she asked to do it again on thursday and on saturday!


This activity is requires no preparation at all (given that your husband has to trim the trees ;)). Through this activity you can teach your child new vocabulary and work on their fine motor skills, strengthening their little hands muscles. You can also explain your child, like I did, that you cannot remove the bark from a live tree because it keeps them healthy.


This activity was really entertaining and being in contact with nature is so important for kids. Just remember Montessori’s quote: when children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.

PS: I’m keeping the branches and the trunk pieces for a small world that I have in mind for our letter C week. If you give this activity a try you might want to keep the pieces and come back in a few weeks to check out.


This post may be linked up at Tot school gathering placeMontessori mondayMommy Monday Blog Hop Practical Mondays , Everything early childhood, A little bird told me, learn and play link party, sharing saturday, Preschool Corner,  toddler fun friday, Hip homeschool hop


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  1. Jolanthe says:

    Love, love, LOVE this idea and the reminder that something so simple (we might normally overlook) is as much a learning opportunity as anything! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • says:

      Thank you Jolanthe! That’s exactly what I was thinking, sometimes you have a great activity in front of your eyes but you just don’t see it. You can’t imagine how much my daughter enjoyed this 🙂

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