Child Development

Fine motor Skills activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Motor Development in kids

Lot of us are unaware of small daily life activities which help toddlers to Pre-schoolers in their Fine Motor skills Development. Involving kids in daily routine activities helps tons in motor development and learning. Rather we are not even aware of what is Fine motor development & how it impacts our child’s development.

What is Fine Motor Skill?

Fine motor skill involves the coordination of small muscles, mainly hands, fingers, with eyes and brain. It is basically learning to synchronize the things out at a time. The importance of development of Fine motor skills can be understood from the fact that they have a big impact on Intellect & Human development. When an infant becomes a toddler, he/she has experienced better grasping and ever growing exploration of surrounding things. This is when a child needs to be introduced to small plays involving the Fine motor development and should be continued till they turn 5. Post age of 5, most of the fine motor skills have been developed.

While we search for various plays here & there involving such developments, but we rarely think of small activities which can be done at home.

Let’s get onto some home- based activities promoting Fine Motor Development in a child from 1year – 5years!

Here are some Fine motor Skills activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers :

1. Turn and Twist Bottle

Materials required : Old Shampoo, oil, cream, lotion’s empty and clean bottles. Simple and ample are available at home isn’t it?

What to do : A Child can unscrew and screw lids & repeat it, as a fun game along with development. 

2. Button Play

Materials required : Old shirts with big, medium and small buttons. 

Press button shirts

Hook Shirts

What to do : Child can button and unbutton the garments. Yes, don’t expect a year old to do this. Kids usually button and un-button by 3years. But it really is very helpful in fine skills & kids enjoy doing it.

3. Zipper Use

This is one of the favorite activity of a kid & I see parents stopping the small kids to do it from the fear of deforming of the bag chains. So, why not do it as an activity?

Materials required : Old Jackets, Old Bags, Old pouches

What to do : Child can practice zipping and unzipping and believe me they’ll love doing it. Just ensure that you give them some old stuff so that it doesn’t bothers mama’s even if ruined;).

4. Velcro On and Off

Let them self – help while going out!

Materials required : Old/New Clean Shoes

What to do : Child can practice sticking and pulling off Velcro on his self. This is a very much doable even by a 2 -2.5year old (as my kid used to do it). Kids enjoy wearing it by themselves.

5. Comb Dolls Hair

Didn’t we used to do it when we were young with our dolls? Then I didn’t knew that it helped so much developing my muscles.

Materials required : Old/New Doll, Wool in long clusters

What to do : Child can make simple braids or use clips and bands to dress up their doll beautifully.

6. Tie Shoe Laces

Materials required : Old/New Clean Shoes

What to do : Child can learn to make bows and tie laces of their own shoes. Even if you child doesn’t have such shoes, give him a pair of old clean dad’s shoes to try hands on. This can be worked when a kid is 3years or more.

7. Origami and paper Folding

Materials required : Coloured paper in square shapes

What to do : Child should fold it to make different shapes and slowly some objects as small boats or Tipi-Tipi-Top. By this a child will also learn the colours & shapes aside with the development.

8. Play Dough

Ahh, My 2.11year old son is insane over it!

Materials required : Knead Wheat flour (Atta/Maida) with oil + salt + water. Add food colours and essence to make it beautifully coloured & with fragrance.

What to do : Child can make shapes, use a rolling pin, blunt cookie shape cutters and carve out some interesting stuff. This not only enhances their imagination but is a very important activity for Fine skill development. 

9. Sorting

Materials required : Pebbles, Stones, Buttons, mixed blocks

What to do : As your child to sort as per colour or shapes or sizes. This will involve hand eye coordination & will even help in memory development.

10. Chalk And Board

Who doesn’t loves this chalk and board game from kids to adults;). Simple, creative activity.

Materials required : Board & Coloured Chalk

What to do : Scribbling, writing, drawing and all of your child’s imagination. Be pleased to what he makes! 

11. Sand Play in a Tub

Materials required : Sand and Tub

Make sand moist so that it does not fly in the eyes and helps in better consistent structures made out of it.

What to do : Child can play with shape sorters, blunt cookie cutters, small bowls. They can make some different shapes, house, castles, pots or anything they like. This all deals into imagination, creativity and Fine motor skill development.

12. Memory Game

Materials required : Place various day to day objects in a tray.

What to do : Let child see the objects. Give him some minutes to look at them properly and tell him to be ready for the play. The next step will be to cover those objects and ask what all did you see. Let your child think & speak out. Isn’t it easy & interesting for the child?

13. Cleaning the Cupboards

Materials required : Cupboard, drawer

What to do : Let the child dust the drawer/cupboard and keeps back things on his own. Why not do this with his own cupboard. This way he will learn to keep things in a proper manner along with must development.

14. Pouring water

That’s a messy task I know, but let’s do it.

Materials required : Small jug and glass

Tray /Tub to allow the spilling

What to do : Child pours water from jug to glass and so forth. Let the spillage be in the tray or tub so that you have a comfortable time mama.

15. Guess the Object

Materials required : Put various day to day objects in a pouch

What to do : Let the child put hand inside the pouch and the feel objects. let him guess the object names on his own. DO give him 2-3 lifelines to rectify initially. You’ll all enjoy this activity with child for sure.

Hope you all enjoyed reading some really easy activities for fine motor skills development.

Fine Motor skills development in Kids

  1. Amber

    I like these ideas. My kids loved to play in sand. They also enjoyed Play-Doh. Oh, and for a while, my son was really into making origami.

  2. Diana

    These are awesome idea! Thanks for sharing! I love that you included every day things like tying shoes and zippers, along with fun things like play dough!

  3. Lorraine M

    I am not a parent however I do think it is critical that motor skills are developed in toddlers. I’ll be sure to share this post.

  4. sassi479

    I am an elementary teacher but taught toddlers and preschool for years before I taught in public schools. All of these ideas are really great and spot on. I have a 1 year old so I’ll keep this as a reminder for some upcoming play and practice with fine motor skills. Thanks for sharing! I’m sure this was really helpful to many mamas.

  5. Erin Creeks

    I never thought about fine motor skill development before. I dont have kids but these activities seem like a great idea for overall mental development and problem solving also. ?

  6. vishalgmr1971

    This is a nice way to prepare kids for success. I think if kids at this age are taught these origami, play dough and shoe laces etc. at early age, their curiosity for other things/activities which is excellent.

  7. Isabelle Weber

    Oohh this is going to come in handy for my little boy in a couple more years! Great ideas that I’ll need to keep in mind for then 🙂

  8. theterrificfive

    You just motivated me to look into fine motor skills activities for my baby. With two it’s so hard to focus on the little one. Love your ideas and suggestions!!!

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