I'm always touting the fine motor benefits of a good old fashioned art activity. Those tiny muscles get worked, challenged, and built by holding onto thin or thick paint brushes, by spreading or drizzling glue, by placing small scraps of paper carefully onto the paper...
But it's not all about fine motor! Art activities can build gross motor skills, too. Vehicle painting and using rolling sponges and other rolling tools are two easy ways to build the larger muscles of the arms, as well as core stabilization.
To get the most out of those benefits, provide large work spaces and larger pieces of paper when you do these activities. Group paintings are great for this--simply tape a huge piece of paper onto a large table, provide several plates of paint with a vehicle or paint roller nestled on top, and watch them go!
Giving the kids their own individual trays works well, too. I like to cut large pieces of paper and present them on a long tray, which really encourages that back and forth motion from one end of the paper to the other.
There are all sorts of painting tools available for this sort of activity. You can use rollers intended for painting, and I liked to mix it up with stamp rollers as well.
Do you love rolling tools for art? How have you tweaked this activity for your classroom? Share in the comments!