Thrifty Thursday - Fine Motor Skills from the Dollar Store


Believe it or not I actually had a life before Mess For Less. Today I am going to be sharing a fine motor activity we did last year BB (before blog). The best thing about this activity is it will only cost you $1-2 depending on what supplies you already have on hand.

Supplies you will need:
  • Cheese shaker
  • Toothpicks (I like the blunt tipped ones as the kids are less likely to get poked)
You can find all of the supplies in the dollar store. The cheese shaker is just like a sugar dispenser except it has many holes on the top lid. 

Give your child a cup of toothpicks and an empty cheese shaker and have them insert the toothpicks into the holes. I was proud that the twins were able to take turns. This is great for multiple kids to work on at once since the shaker has lots of holes.

My youngest was 1 1/2 at the time and she worked hard to insert the toothpicks. This was great practice for her.

The cheese shaker is glass so I recommend doing this activity on a rug or on a soft surface on the ground.

We have played with our toothpicks and cheese shakers a few times since the summer but as I am writing this I think it would be great to try some longer pasta like spaghetti or linguine that has been broken to fit into the shaker.



  1. And kids that age just LOVE stuff like this! Clever idea! If you get colored ones, they can sort them by color too. When my daughter was little, she loved putting tiny things (like different kinds of dried beans) in the egg carton compartments. :-)

  2. Awesome idea!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. I also like getting the peg games for my toddler from the Dollar Tree. They have the traditional triangle one, but we love the seasonal ones too! My 5 year old likes the seasonal "races" that are similar to the peg games, and he's trying to teach his brother how to play them!

  4. This is such a cute idea! Im taking Early Childhood Education as a shop at my High School and this website has such cute ideas that we could use in our preschool!