Did you know that fine motor skills are part of the developmental milestones for toddlers? Skills like rolling, squeezing, pinching and building are very important from as early as 6 months.
The good news is that finding fun fine motor activities for your toddler isn’t hard – and it definitely isn’t expensive.
These 5 cheap and simple activities are perfect for encouraging fine motor skills, and are lots of fun too!
You can never have too many stickers when you have a toddler. Start with the larger foam stickers (easier for little fingers), and work towards smaller thinner stickers. While they will initially need help to remove the sticker from the backing, they will eventually be able to do this on their own. Carry them in your bag and they also make a great ‘quiet’ activity when you are out.
Cotton Tip Painting
If you want to avoid the mess of finger painting, cotton tip painting is great. This encourages a pincher grasp (thumb and one finger) and is a great creative activity too.
Money in a money box
If your toddler has a money box at home, get out those 20c and 50c pieces and let them play! You’ll be amazed how long this will keep them entertained, and this activity is excellent for fine motor skills. (Avoid smaller coins due to choking hazards)
A simple gluing activity requires your child to use a glue stick, pick up small items and place them on the paper. All of these are great skills to develop. There’s no limit to what you can glue – junk mail catalogues, pictures from old wrapping paper, crepe paper or scraps of paper all work well.
Some penne pasta and pipe cleaners are all you need for this activity. The pipe cleaners are easier for younger toddlers to thread, and you can move up to firm string as they improve. For really young toddlers you can buy larger pasta. You can turn them into bracelets or necklaces too!