Fine Motor Skills With A Cereal Box from
Activity/Craft,  Family

Cereal Box Fine Motor Skills Play

A few weeks back I was taking part in the wonderful Twitter chat #ParentIdeaSwap that is run by best bloggy buddies Becky and Leandra and the theme was “10 minute crafts and ideas”. Loads of exciting and quick ideas came up, from toilet roll and straws shakers to pipe cleaner crowns. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to think of some quick and easy play ideas that will benefit Luke’s fine motor skills.

Raiding the recycling!

So I had a think about what sort of every day supplies I had at home, and then I remembered the huge collection of empty cereal boxes I have. Luke (like any toddler?) is a huge cereal fan and so the boxes are piling up. I had a little ponder, a few suggestions were sent my way, and I decided to go down  the fine motor skills route – I have done a series of fine motor skill activities before, but instead of cardboard boxes, we talked about how pom poms can aid your toddler’s fine motor skills.

Fine Motor Skills Play using empty cereal box from

I am a big fan of any activity or game that is the teeny tiniest bit associated with using fine motor skills, and here’s why:

It’s so important to engage toddlers in fine motor skills based hands-on play.

Not only is it great fun, but it’s essential to toddler’s development. At a toddler’s age, children play with objects for purposes, rather than just having a gander like you and I. They’re picking things up to see if they’re heavy or light, if they’re easy to hold or if they require some thought to move.

There are lots of ways to develop your child’s fine motor skills through play.

Sensory play and messy play are great ways of working on fine motor skills with toddlers, as they learn whether things can be pulled apart and put back together again (play dough is great, click here to see how to make your own and a few other benefits of using play dough), or if something is slippery when they pick it up – will it fall through their fingers or will it stay there? (Cornflour gloop is great for this!)

Basically, as well as setting toddlers up for pre-school activities (such as writing and using scissors) it also sets them up for life. They’re learning how the world works.

And it’s so easy to help them get to grips with it!

I got sent so many wonderful ideas about activities to do in under ten minutes with toddlers and cardboard boxes and they’re all great.

I had a little think as I wanted something that was really quick to set up, that required next to no effort but something that would also be interesting and engaging.

The easiest ever fine motor skills activity for toddlers and young children.

It’s dead simple, easy and fun and will help build up the little finger muscles and thus improve your toddler (or baby/older child’s) fine motor skills and there’s really not a lot to it!

Get your cereal box and make a few holes on one side.

I used a pair of scissors – using one of the blades, puncture a hole and then put both in a twist to make the hole bigger. You can probably think of something much better to use that will leave the holes a lot tidier, but I had an impatient toddler to entertain.

Fine Motor Skills with an empty cereal box from

Next, grab some straws (the prettier the colours, the better) and cut them into thirds.

We grabbed around four or five straws (that were sold in a huge pack for 99p) and that left us with loads of mini straws to play with. More than enough for our play session.

Fine Motor Skills With A Cereal Box from

My toddler loved this game, it’s really as simple as putting the straws through the holes in the cereal box.

Talk about and explore the game as you play.

Once all the straws are in the holes, have a little shake. Talk about the sound – rattle it so it’s really loud, then shake it just a little so it’s quiet. Then, open the cereal box where you would usually, and shake all the straws out. Repeat this as many times as your toddler wants to.

You can go on to name the colours and count the straws as you put them through the holes, you can also, if you’re more adventurous that me, decorate the box before hand. You can also sort the straws into colours once they’ve been emptied.

This fine motor skills activity does use plastic straws, so in order to decrease the single use plastic used, please do not through this away once your child has finished play. Instead, save it for another day/

So that’s my super easy, really quick activity that’s great for toddlers, babies and older children to help with their fine motor skills, as well as setting them up for life. What are you favourite crafts to do with empty cereal boxes? What is your favourite fine motor skill activity to do with the kidos? Let me know in the comments, I love all the ideas people send me!

Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.


  • leandra

    Thanks so much for the mention lovely! Luke looks as though he’s really enjoying himself there, I can remember when T would sit and thread straws through random household objects, it was so cute.

    Thanks for linking again #toddlerapprovedtuesday x

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      You’re welcome, love. The amount of amazing toddler proof things you can do with straws, eh? The list is endless! Thanks for hosting xx

  • Charlotte @ Educating Elsa

    I did this same activity a few weeks ago using a cardboard box and pipe cleaners. Elsa’s fine motor skills are pretty good anyway but she really wasn’t interested in it. So frustrating!

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      Luke’s at the age where it keeps him going for a fair while, luckily! We tried the pipe cleaners and colander and the same activity, but I think because the pipe cleaners are flexy, it was a bit on the trickier side for him. Thanks for reading xx

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      Yes, we do that too! But I think because the pipe cleaners are a bit flexy, Luke struggles a bit too much with it at the moment, so he gets bored of it quite easily. Thanks so much for the FB share, lovely! xx

  • becky

    Ahh thanks for sharing lots of my activities up there ^^^!!!! And this looks great, so simple and no real set up required. Great idea!

    Thanks for linking up to #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

  • Lisa (mummascribbles)

    What a fab idea! I love this! Something my mum started doing with Zach was getting him to put pegs all the way round the washing basket then taking them back off again. He loves that game and it’s fab for fine motor skills! Thanks so much for linking up with #twinklytuesday

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      Thank you 🙂 I’m not sure Luke can really operate pegs at the moment. It’s something we’re working on! Great idea though, I will remember it for the future! xx

  • Anita Cleare

    Really simple – great tips on using everyday stuff to great effect. Who needs toys when you have imagination!

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