Fine motor skills are the small movements in hands, wrists, fingers, toes, feet, lips and tongue. The basic ones that toddlers need to develop are those in their fingers, hands and wrists. These allow children to hold a pen, to write, do buttons up, pick up small objects and turn a page for example.
Fortunately there are thousands of fantastic toys and activities available to our children in this modern age that help them to develop these fine motor skills. Most are simple in design but yet accomplish the most.
When you are making those purchases with developing fine motor skills in mind, just keep these few things in mind:
- Age appropriate – ensure that toys are appropriate for the child’s age and stage of development. Things that come with small pieces are not appropriate for all toddlers.
- Multi use – Space saving toys or toys that help to develop multiple skills are always the best and most cost effective.
Spike the fine motor Hedgehog
This early peg play toy helps children to build fine motor skills, early pattern recognition, matching and sorting.
As children give Spike back his quills they are learning through play early math skills, counting and colour recognition.
This is an example of a really simple yet effective problem solving toys for toddlers.
Melissa and Doug Construction building set in a box.
This beautifully presented construction set comes complete with 48 wooden pieces. This includes nuts, bolts, drilled bars to connect and a child sized screwdriver for all those little jobs.
With this sturdy set you can build a crane, motorcycle, aeroplane and racing car.But with a bit of imagination and a few twists and turns you can build hundreds of different things.
Each time that children play with this construction set toy they extend their fine motor skills, problem solving skills and hand-eye coordination. Also included with this set is extension activities for parents to build early math skills, colour recognition and counting.
This is an excellent example of a problem solving toy for toddlers as you can add other Melissa and Doug building sets to create an even better play experience.
Melissa & Doug geometric stacker
This beautifully made set comes complete with 25 multi coloured assorted shapes. These development toys help to build early shape, colour and size differentiation skills.
These can be further developed by Adults playing games with children to extend their learning further. By removing all the pieces to a flat surface and helping children to name each shape, comparing size both on a flat surface and by using the rods, the pieces can be sorted by colour, shape or size. This could also be a construction toy for toddlers as every child will try to build a free standing tower to knock over.
This would be an exceptional addition to any gifted child’s toy box.
Galt Toys Cotton Reels
A set of 20 brightly coloured cotton reels in 4 primary colours. This set is great for encouraging fine motor skills, introducing mathematical and positional language. Ideal for fine tuning those fine motor skills while threading and stacking the reels. These activities also encourage hand and eye coordination and improve manual dexterity.
They are made from tough, durable plastic that will last many years even with excessive play.
The recommended age is 3-5 years but are suitable from around 6 months if simply used for stacking games. This is a toy that will grow and develop with your child until they are of school age.
Anatex City Transportation Wall Panel Activity Center
This wooden board is wall mountable and self contained, so no loose pieces to lose.
This set comes complete with wooden boats, school, bus, ice cream truck, fire engine, ambulance, garbage truck, mail truck, taxi, police car and city bus.
Providing hours of imaginative and creative play with minimal space. Great for developing those fine motor skills as they move the pieces around the maze track.