These fine motor activities for toddlers are the perfect way to strengthen fine motor skills, getting little hands and fingers ready for later-developing skills like holding a pencil and completing clothing fasteners.
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We’ve already talked about how toddlers love to move and explore. Kids this age are learning so much about the world and a big part of this involves fine motor skills: being able to grasp and manipulate the objects that interest them.
Simply showing an object to a 1 or 2-year-old isn’t enough. They want to hold it and see it for themselves. From toys, to remote controls, to your cell phone – it’s all fair game to a toddler! This means that a hands-on approach to play is in order, which is perfect for developing those early fine motor skills.
Fine Motor Activities for Toddlers
1 || Building with blocks. See if they can stack a couple blocks on their own, or try stacking up a tower for them and let them knock it down! Help your little one roll a ball to knock down a big tower of blocks!
2 || Simple “put-in” activities like these from No One Has More Fun Than the Adams’ are perfect for keeping little ones entertained while also building grasping, manipulation, and visual motor skills. Also try shape sorters!
3 || Opening and closing. Toddlers are fascinated by opening and closing things. Try this fun opening and closing activity from How We Montessori. Stock your bookshelves with books that have flaps to open and close or try a hide and seek puzzle!
4 || Cooking with a toddler can be lots of fun (and a little tricky!). Your best bet? Keep it simple! Try a toddler-friendly recipe like this one from Danya Banya – only 2 ingredients! Encourage your kiddo to get in on the action by scooping, stirring, and kneading the ingredients together. Not in the mood for a mess? Simply set out a bowl of water and some cooking utensils!
5 || Play with things around the house Fine motor play doesn’t have to involve fancy, expensive materials either – check out this awesome fine motor play activity made out of recycled materials from Teach Me Mommy! There is some great gross motor work going on here too, as the child bends, squats, and stands to make this activity work!
7 || Stringing large beads or other items is awesome for working on bilateral coordination (using two hands together) and in-hand manipulation skills. This pasta threading fine motor activity from Laughing Kids Learn uses the perfect chunky material for little toddler hands.
8 || Play with stickers! This toddler favorite holds infinite possibilities when it comes to fine motor, visual motor, and even gross motor activities!
10 || Put your toddler to work! There are lots of fun ways for older toddlers to help out around the house that are great for building fine motor skills (not to mention gross motor, cognitive, and sensory skills!). Check out these practical chores for young toddlers from ALLterNATIVE Learning.
11 || Water play. Try throwing a few squirt bottles, sponges, and washcloths into a bucket of water and you’ve got hours of fine motor fun and entertainment!
Click here to learn more about toddler development and milestones!
Learn all about developmental milestones and activities for kids to boost development from birth to age 5.
*As with all of our activities at The Inspired Treehouse – be sure to pay close attention when your child is working on any activities that involve small pieces. These activities require close supervision.