SchoolFamily Voices

Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

How to Make an Easy Fine Motor Activity for Your Young Child

Here is a great activity for eye-hand coordination, as well as strengthening finger muscles. Make your own lacing cards to help strengthen your child’s finger muscles.

 You will need:

  • Poster board
  • A hole puncher
  • Some packages of new, long shoelaces


  • Cut some eight inch squares from the poster board.
  • Use these squares to cut decorative shapes, such as a heart, triangle, simple truck or boat, sun, apple, etc. You can also trace and cut shapes from coloring book pictures.
  • Use the hole puncher to punch holes along the edge of these shapes, about three inches apart.
  • Tie one end of the long shoelace to the first hole. I recommend using shoelaces because the hard end is easier for young children to manipulate.
  • Then let your child lace around the shapes with and “in and out” motion.

Keep the cards and laces in a zip-lock baggie for ease of use and storage.


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