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Unique Fine Motor Sensory Activity for Kids Using Petroleum Jelly


This post includes a Fine Motor Sensory Activity for Kids sourced from one of our favorite books called Science Artsfine motor sensory activity. I highly recommend purchasing this book. I use it for reference practically on a daily basis.  I love the book because the activities and experiments combine art and science, igniting children in ways I could watch all day long.

In addition, I am thrilled to be a part of the phenomenal Everyday Fine Motor Materials from A to Z series. Lucky for us, I got a really interesting letter that forced me to be creative, to think out the box. I chose the letter “V”. Velcro, of course, is a wonderful material for fine motor work but that is old news. We got velcro. Instead, I chose to work with vaseline.

What better way to work fine motor skills than to combine with a fun sensory experience? 

Fine Motor Sensory Activity

This activity allows children to explore the texture of petroleum jelly while being creative and artistic. Furthermore, they hone their fine motor skills by designing and writing in a different textured material. Invite children to write letters or numbers, or simply allow them to use their imaginations and let their fingers do the talking!

fine motor activity

Fine Motor Sensory Activity for Kids


  • Pan or pie plate
  • Vaseline (or petroleum jelly)
  • Freezer
  • Towel for wiping hands
  • Brush or spatula for smearing

Fine Motor Petroleum Jelly


  • Invite your children to do the experiment. Watch their eyes light up when you tell them that you’ll be working with vaseline AND that their first job is to smear gobs of it onto the pan.
  • Draw a design
  • Wipe hands with a towel
  • Place pan into the freezer for a few hours
  • Check out the “frost design”

Frost Plate Science Arts


  • Talk about water’s three states of matter as liquid, gas, and solid.
  • Ask what happens inside the freezer?
  • What are those crystals on the jelly?
  • What happens to water molecules when they become cold(er)?
  • Should we try other materials? What do you think might happen?

I hope we inspired you today!

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