He’s Going To Eat Us All Up! (Fine Motor Fun with Wolfie The Bunny)

Until I become an (admittedly, slightly-neurotic) mom, I had never considered how much went into helping a child grow up to become a successful writer. I’m not talking about writing in the creative, lyrical sense, but more in the practical sense. The fine motor coordination and skill, as well as the muscle strength required to form letters efficiently and legibly is actually a bit mind-boggling when you think about it. I’ve done a bit of reading on the importance of giving children a strong writing foundation from the beginning (The Write Start: A Guide to Nurturing Writing at Every Stage, from Scribbling to Forming Letters and Writing Stories is a personal favorite), as those strengths will give kids a boost up at all stages of learning, elementary through high school, and beyond.

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wolfie the bunny project

I like to find ways to work on fine motor skills and writing work with #thebigone that don’t always look like that’s what we’re working on. He’s in first grade, so writing is a big part of his day at school. Some days, he loves the idea of writing & illustrating his own stories and books, and other days, asking him to add one item to the grocery list is an overwhelming task. On those particular days, I like to give him a chance to try something that is beneficial, but that he really loves and feels nothing like school to him.

wolfie the bunny craft

Since he was rather young, one of #thebigone’s favorite art supplies has been any kind of puffy paint or glitter glue. You name it, we have covered it in the stuff- pumpkins at Halloween, paper mache bunnies at Easter, wooden birdhouses in the summer… If you can stick glitter glue to it, chances are we have over the last 3 or 4 years. I never minded the activities though, because 1. he loved it, and 2. squeezing those bottles is a fabulous way to strengthen hands and fingers for the tasks associated with writing.

coloring printable sheet coloring wolfie the bunny

Since I wanted to give #thebigone a little time to work on his hand strength at home this week, I put together a quick and simple activity to use some puffy paint based on one of the books we love. Wolfie the Bunny has been a family favorite since we first purchased it. As always, I was drawn to it initially because of the unique illustrative style. I LOVE the whimsical, bright colors of Zacharia OHora’s artwork, and the dark, textural detail he adds to the flat shapes of color. OHora is skilled at expressing personality in faces with little color detail, and relatively simple lines, and it’s fun to see the characters come to life through his art. Written by Ame Dyckman, the story itself is amusing and sweet without being cliche or boring. The tale of a younger sibing who isn’t quite what Dot bargained for, it is the perfect book for our house, where #thelittleone joined us last year. #thebigone had a surprisingly easy transition to big brotherhood, and we are grateful for it, but this book provides us a chance to talk now and then about the way parents may seem to act when a new baby enters the family.

puffy paint craft puffy paint for fine motor

Inspired by OHora’s use of varying lines to create texture and interest, I created a free printable to encourage some fine motor work that doesn’t feel like work. I have included 2 free printable options for you to choose from. One is an entirely black and white illustration I created of Wolfie, perfect for kids to color before moving on to the squeezing task. The second option shows Wolfie in full color, great for days when you don’t have as much time, or if you happen to have a very reluctant colorer (#thebigone has some stubborn days, I can relate). When ready, your kids can use glitter glue or puffy paint to add dimension (while strengthening those hands & fingers) to whatever lines they would like. You could also use just plain school glue if you wanted- it won’t add color, since it dries clear, but would still add some dimension, and give hands that beneficial work out.

fine motor for kids squeezing for hand strength puffy paint details

PRINTABLES!

black and white wolfie the bunny printable Wolfie the bunny color printable

What are your favorite ways to help kids develop the basic skills they need to come strong writers? I would love to hear about them, so please let me know in the comments below!

Disguise a little fine-motor hand-strengthening activity as a craft inspired by a popular picture book! Early writers will love creating their own Wolfie the Bunny, while helping their hands stay strong for the important task of writing.

More fun ideas inspired by picture books, perfect for bookworms of all ages- enjoy!


Standard Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission from purchases you make through the links in this post (at no additional cost to you), which allows me to continue providing free content on the blog. 

11 Comments

    • Kate

      Thanks so much Jessica!

  • Krysten

    That is such a fantastic idea for kids to grow their motor skills! I don’t think that I would have ever thought of that.

    • Kate

      I appreciate you checking it out!

  • theforeverteacher

    I LOVE this!!! I’ve never tried the puffy paint with my kids, but they are obsessed with arts/crafts!!! They have a blast with paint already… this will make their whole day!

    • Kate

      I hope they love it!

  • Megan @ The Many Little Joys

    What a fun, simple activity! My four-year-old has become obsessed with glitter glue lately. 🙂

    • Kate

      My kiddo is big into the glitter glue as well. Hope you have fun!

  • babiestobookworms

    This looks like such a fun book and activity! I love this idea for fine motor skills!

    • Kate

      Thank you!

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