5 Wild West Fine Motor Activities for Spur of the Moment Fun

Imagination ignites with sensory play. There’s something magical about the sound of scooping and pouring dried oats, the rough texture of hay, and the movement of materials that just captivates the little ones for hours of engaged play. This week, we lassoed up some sensory play with these Wild West fine motor activities. Check it out!

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Wild West Lesson Plans

Oats & Horses Sensory Bin

Wild West Sensory Bin

My girls were very disappointed to see that the horse with his head in the oat bin didn’t make the final cut. They had too much fun staging and taking 100+ photos of this oats and horses sensory bin. 


I always love it when simple activities occupy their time longer than expected. Who knew photographing horses and oats would be so exciting?

To be fair, the textures are delightful, and the horses make the perfect animals for setting a Western sensory scene fit for sustained sensory play.


Cactus Poke

Wild West Fine Motor Activities

A green ball of playdough in a pot with toothpicks as spikes as one of our Wild West fine motor activities.

Cacti taught me a valuable lesson: don’t speak with exaggerated hand movements near them. 


Needless to say, I ended up with a backhand full of needles. Let me just curl back up into my shell now.


This is why it was immensely satisfying to poke that cactus back with this next Wild West fine motor activity. Personal revenge.


Add some math by rolling dice and counting each toothpick as you jab it into the play dough cactus. Or, if it’s summertime, grab some green pool noodles from Dollar Tree. 


Either way, it is a satisfying way to practice those fine motor skills in the classroom.


Horse Play dough

Invitation to Create

If you gave me the opportunity to create a horse with play dough, I imagine it would turn out looking similar to the horse in Gumby, Pokey. Long, lanky, yet just similar enough to a horse that you would know what I meant for it to be. 


Preschoolers have a way with play dough, though, and they often surprise me with their realistic creations!


Fill a tray with plastic horses, mini popsicle sticks, cacti, cowboy boots, and rocks to create a horse-themed play dough invitation. Then, let your tots’ imaginations run wild!


Will they add more horses to their Western scene? Or will they opt to create cowboys and cowgirls to tend to the horses?


Either way, sensory play and creativity will be encouraged with creative fun.


Clothespin Horses

Color Matching Fine Motor Activity

Back in my day, we actually used clothespins to hold clothes on the clothesline to dry in the wind. Talk about a fresh way to exfoliate your skin after a shower. Those towels were stiff!


But nowadays, kids in our first-world country only know the luxury of soft, dryer-dried towels, and the only thing they know about clothespins is that they are used for activities or crafts at school. 


So let’s not scare them with the thought of stiff towels. Instead, we’ll give them something familiar with a Wild West clothespin activity.


Simply clip on matching colored clothespins to give these rainbow-colored horses some legs so they can gallop away in the wind.


Oobleck Mining

Wild West Fine Motor Activities

Gold pieces in hardened Oobleck for preschoolers to dig out with nails.

Not to age myself again (ha!), but Oobleck wasn’t even a thought when I was growing up. Koosh balls and those sliding fish tubes were all the rage, and sometimes I miss those simpler days!


Oobleck can be simple, though, especially with Oobleck Mining! Simply make your Oobleck, then add gold pieces, and let it dry.


Once the Oobleck has hardened, your little miners will work with a nail to strike gold!


Another fun (and easy) way to “mine” is to bring in chocolate chip cookies and carefully mine out the chocolate chip nuggets. Food activities do always seem to be a hit!


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Ignite your preschoolers’ imaginations with some (or all) of these Wild West fine motor activities. But fun in the Wild West doesn’t end with sensory play! For more inspiration and cowboy-themed fun, be sure to mosey on over to our Wild West Math, Literacy, and Art activities.

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