One of the key skills your preschooler needs as he starts school is fine motor skills. In this post, I list toys for fine motor skills development. Hopefully, you find this list useful. Here goes,
WHAT ARE FINE MOTOR SKILLS?
Fine motor skills are needed for smaller muscle movements in wrists, fingers, and hands.
Simple everyday tasks like buttoning a shirt, tieing a lace, putting on a belt, writing, all require fine motor skills
FINE MOTOR SKILLS FOR PRESCHOOLERS – WHY ARE FINE MOTOR SKILLS IMPORTANT?
Many school-related activities like writing, drawing, and craft etc. require a preschooler to use his fine motor skills.
The toys in this list can help them exercise those muscles and become adept at these tasks.
TOYS FOR FINE MOTOR SKILLS
Such hand-eye coordination toys for toddlers make great gift ideas. So much better than noisy electronic toys that don’t offer any challenge.
Not to mention these toys for fine motor skills are engaging and fun to play with and your toddler won’t even miss his electronic toys.
You don’t need to buy each of these toys to develop fine motor skills, even a few in your toy collection will go a long way in helping your child.
These days the market is flooded with toys to develop fine motor skills and none of these options are difficult to find.
MUST HAVE TOYS FOR FINE MOTOR SKILLS
We started using stickers around 14-15 months of age. A great way to practice pincer grasp and learn hand-eye coordination. Initially, I bought individual 3 D sticker sheets, since these are thicker in breadth and easier for younger toddlers to get a good grip.
Once they become adept at using these, move on to using the Melissa and Dough reusable sticker pads. The sticker pad comes with 4 different scenes and offers a variety of stickers for the toddler to use in different combinations. It’s reusable making it an eco-friendly and cost-effective option.
I also like that the 4 scenes showcase different animal habitats – aquatic, farm, jungle and prehistoric. This encourages creativity and learning in a fun way.
- Fruit cutting tray
A great toy not just for fine motor skills but also for pretend play. My son has spent many hours with his pretend vegetables and knife set.
- Cooking set
Again, not only do toddlers love the pretend play aspect but they are also developing those fine motor skills as they go along pretending to cook.
A cooking set is an age-appropriate toy for 2-year-olds beginning to learn about the nuances of the world they live in. There is so much to learn through such toys, fine motors skills aside.
A toolbox contains tiny pieces that need to be rotated using fingers, pushed and pulled, hammered in and basically be tinkered with. Each of these actions requires the use of muscles in the fingers and wrist.
Also, the toolbox is another open-ended toy that toddlers can use in many ways making it a must-have in any toddlers toy collection.
- Latches Board
Opening and closing latches and doors, this latches board toy is an engaging and challenging toy for toddlers. Many brands introduce different concepts like farm animal sounds, shapes, or colors alongside to make the board more interesting and educational for toddlers.
- Sewing toy
Putting the sewing tool through the tiny holes and making patterns helps with hand-eye coordination and develops those small muscles in the wrist and fingers. A sewing tool is an age-appropriate toy for 2- 3-year-olds.
- Wooden lacing shoes
This lacing toy enhances the child’s hand-eye coordination, and focus, ultimately teaching key life skills like self-reliance. A lacing toy helps the child practice lacing his shoes, a fun way to teach through play.
- Busy books
Busy books combine different themes appropriate to the age of the child. Containing pages on different concepts. Some busy books focus on life skills, some on shapes and colors. Each page contains an activity that needs the use of the pincer grasp, wrist muscles along with logical reasoning and basic concept understanding.
- Peg and Knob Puzzle
Peg puzzles are great for toddlers hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Also trying these simple puzzles gets their mind trained to focus for short periods of time. These are a few types of peg puzzles and knob puzzles to try;
I love the use of play-doh for fine motor skills development. Simple activities like pinching the dough into pieces, making round balls out of the dough and trying to make different shapes all require the use of the finger and wrist muscles. The endless opportunities to play with Play-doh is just another reason why this classic toy is found in every preschool class.
Here are some previous posts on toys that you may also find interesting:
FINE MOTOR SKILLS ACTIVITIES TO TRY AT HOME
There are a number of fine motor activities you can do at home and not necessarily rely on toys as the only option. A few examples of fine motor activities at home would be;
- Peeling garlic or peeling hard-boiled eggs.
- Chopping soft vegetables like boiled potatoes.
- DIY cardboard board with zippers and laces.
- Buy tongs from a local store and build activities that require the use of tongs. For eg. Sorting different colored pom-poms into containers using tongs.
Instead of buying a large number of toys, buying a minimal set of toys that cater to a variety of skill sets is best in the long run. Open-ended toys like a toolbox, legos, and play-doh meet these criteria offering endless hours of play over the early years.
I hope you found this post useful. Which toys does your child enjoy playing with?