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A Helpful Hint to Improve Fine Motor Skills

“Mrs. McCarthy, I like to color but my crayon just won’t stop at the line!” said Kate.  Some young children have yet to develop the fine motor skills needed to make their crayon “stop at the line.”  This often makes a child reluctant to color, even though coloring is great practice for improving fine motor skills.  Here’s a good trick to help your young child “feel” the line, while making coloring neater.

You will need: 

  • A bottle of glue
  • A piece of white paper
  • Optional: sugar or salt.


  • Start by drawing one large shape on the white paper (circle, square, triangle, heart, etc.) After your child goes to bed, run a continuous, thin line of glue along the edge of your drawing.For more texture you can sprinkle salt or sugar on the wet glue.Shake off the excess before setting it to dry.
  • Let the glue dry overnight. It will harden and be clear. You should be able to feel a slightly raised border.
  • When your child colors inside the shape he or she can “feel” the raised edge and know where to stop their crayon.
  • You can also do this trick with large pictures from a coloring book.Tear out the page to be colored, and run the glue line over the picture’s edge.  Let it dry and harden overnight. It should be ready for coloring the next day.

Children love “hitting the bump” that makes their crayon stop! It gives them confidence and control.  As their fine motor skills improve, eliminate the raised edge.

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