Motor Skills Activities for Toddlers; Things to Know

Emma Davies
Stay at Home Mom

Toddlers need a huge variety of activity in order to build motor skills, and these can be practiced through sensory play, art and simple manipulative games. The list is endless, quite literally, and each child will have their own preference as to what they enjoy doing.

  • Fine motor skills activities

Taking care of gaining strength in hands, fingers and toes, your child will need to practice muscle coordination and in doing so create hand to eye coordination using everyday things such as holding a pencil.  A firm favourite tool for developing fine motor skills is play dough as it strengthens little hands as the child squeezes rolls and builds with it.

Other ideas for fine motors skills include opening fasteners, cutting and sticking paper, threading beads onto a pipe cleaner, slotting toys into gadgets, and poking straws into holes. A really fascinating game is to stick pipe cleaners through a colander. Threading spaghetti pasta is also a sure fire hit.  Sorting shells and making them into patterns, building with Lego, and finger painting continues to be enjoyed by many kids. Stacking cups and making play dough cupcakes and any type of sorting of objects in egg cartons, or making collages are some of the very best activities.   

  • Ordinary objects great for fine motor skills development

If you’re out walking and find pine cones, then gather them up as these are excellent for a child to weave wool or thread through.  The child will stack them, make various games with them and they’re a great free play object.

A great way to fine tune motor skills is to learn holding pencils and pens, so put a variety of sizes of these in front of a child and see which they prefer to hold.  Fat ones and thin ones, and all colours; and invariably the child will test all of the pens out of curiosity, and will be providing the exercise for fine motor skills.

  • Gross motor skills activities

All kids develop at different stages, but there are many areas to consider in motor skills. For examples, trampolines are great for improving balance, and if the child is very young, then mini versions of trampolines are safe to exercise on.  Strengthening and developing arms, legs and the torso are vital, and kids will also enjoy throwing a ball, running, jumping , climbing and skipping, and not forgetting jumping jacks and leap frog activities. Also check physical development toys for toddlers.

  • ‘Funtastic’ activities for toddlers using all motor skills

No toddler should ever be bored.  Even if no toys are available it will usually find something to amuse itself.  Just see their faces if you ask them to crawl over a pile of pillows on a bed. This is such a funtastic game and without knowing, they’ll be practicing balance, body awareness and coordination.  Supervising kids as they gradually try the stairs is great fun, so take it easy and make it a funtastic part of the day.

Kids are naturally curious about everything and when they’re able to hold a conversation they’ll ask many questions.  Funtastic is a great word for exploring absolutely anything, whether it’s about their bodies, the home, the great outdoors, anything is funtastic and whatever interesting fun activity you suggest will enable your child to become adventurous. In every single way they’ll be developing all their motor skills to the fullest.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money on kid’s toys, as some of the best games are free and the child will make their own playtime.

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