Toddlers love to experience new things. Toddlerhood is to show little ones how to do simple activities. Not only will their curiosity be satisfied, they’ll also develop their fine motor skills in the process. These skills are important for the all-round development of little ones. We’ve rounded up a list of fine motor skills activities for toddlers in your life.
Playing with small wooden or plastic blocks is a time-tested and fun activity. Toddlers love to stack them up to create various shapes and enjoy tearing them down. Get creative and encourage them to knock down their buildings with balls or soft toys! Whatever it is, the act of carefully stacking blocks will help improve their hand-eye coordination and their confidence.
Just bead it
Stringing beads has been gaining more popularity recently as a fine motor development activity for preschoolers. This is partly because large beads made just for this purpose are now widely available. The job requires a bit more attention and precision from the toddler, but once they get going, they’ll have the satisfaction of having created something.
Open and shut
Nothing illustrates cause and effect more than opening and closing things. Whether it’s envelopes, birthday cards, doors, or drawers, toddlers can’t seem to get enough of the action. So why not play to their interest and give them an activity that involves opening and closing? You could take it to the next level and give them screw-top bottle caps to attach. This activity will require the toddler to use their fingers differently, which adds another dimension to the opening and closing process and is a great fine motor activity for toddlers.
Drawing and painting
Drawing and painting are great ways to give toddlers the chance to get the feel of holding a pen, pencil, or paintbrush. It helps with their dexterity and fine motor planning as they think about the next motion. The thing to do here is to show them how to hold it correctly and ask them to mimic you. In the beginning, you might save yourself a mess by having them paint with plain water on colored construction paper. They will understand quickly and before you know it they’ll be on their way to creating their own masterpieces!
Stashing with trays
It’s not only squirrels that enjoy stashing things; toddlers also enjoy this activity. A good one to try is to use either apples or oranges and a sectioned tray. Apart from figuring out which tray fits best, the child will also get a fine motor workout by handling them. After all, an apple or an orange is big for a toddler’s hands, but not too heavy. As they learn to negotiate each one, they are unwittingly exercising their hands and arms.
Tweezers and tongs
As with beading, using tweezers and tongs for activities is a bit more complex compared to some other fine motor skills tasks. However, the payoff is that it’s an excellent skill to develop. You can either introduce it as an activity or when it is time to clean up. Most toddlers do not like to clean up their toys after they’re done playing, so why not use tweezers or tongs to make a game out of cleaning up?
Perhaps it’s the combination of the physical act of sticking designs and pictures as well as the artistic license they get to enjoy, but kids love stickers. Playing with stickers can be as simple as applying them on a page or creating an activity such as matching different designs or characters.
Things to keep in mind
A good approach to encouraging toddlers to participate in fine motor skills activities is introduce kids to an activity and let them pick the one they feel to be the most fun. Another thing to remember is that toddlers rarely stick with an activity for more than a few minutes. The trick is to be prepared for the next activity so that they can move on—and have fun!