Toys for Fine Motor Skills: Toys that train the small muscles in the hands and fingers, building the strength, control, and precision that enable everyday life skills such as self-feeding, dressing and undressing, drawing, and writing.
Part of the essential work of early childhood is learning to properly and precisely use the muscles in the hands and fingers--in other words, building fine motor skills. These skills, mastered during childhood, enable everyday life skills such as fastening, zipping, cutting, and writing. Parents may be familiar with the technical names for many fine-motor milestones, such as "pincer grasp" (the ability to grasp objects with the thumb and forefinger) and "tripod grasp" (the ability to hold a pencil properly). But even with no special background, you're likely to notice these abilities developing naturally through play. Nurture them with these toys and games--favorites of occupational therapists and teachers, and now collected here for you and your child!
Get creative with everyday tasks to find low-effort, high-interest, skill-building fun!
1. Look for baking projects that call for individually wrapped mini chocolates and enlist the kids to unwrap them all.
2. Ask children to sort loose change around the house and then have them place the money into the small slot of a piggy bank. (As a reward, spend the money on a new family game!)
3. Ask children to water plants or wash windows using a spray bottle. Encourage them to use only one finger at a time to pump the bottle, strengthening finger muscles.
4. Have children place stamps and return-address labels on your mail at home.