I heard about using push pins to strengthen fine motor skills at a conference a few years ago. The idea went into my head, fell to the back of my mind, and has been collecting dust. This year, many of my students were struggling with fine motor skills. I dug out the idea and dusted it off. While searching for a "platform", I found some empty tissue boxes in my cabinet. These worked out perfectly. It's easy for the child to hold, yet protects their fingers from the sharp push pin.
For this activity you'll need an empty tissue box, push pin* (the larger pins are easier to hold), templates (you can download for free here), and tape to hold down the template.
Letter, number, and shape templates also help reinforce recognition. Not only does this activity strengthen fine motor skills, but it also encourages the child to use a tripod grasp.