Fine motor skills are such an essential part of everyday life. From doing up buttons, zippers, opening containers and packets, handwriting and picking up small objects, all these require fine motor skills. Naturally, most people don’t even realise they’re utilising them. Ensuring your child is learning and improving their fine motor skills will help them to be more successful in life.
How can parents ensure their child is strengthening their fine motor skills? One great way is through play. There are a variety of toys that are beneficial to fine motor development. They’re fun and engaging, too. This allows babies, toddlers, and small children to enjoy practicing essential skills while having fun.
Top 9 Toys for Fine Motor Skill Development
Everyone uses fine motor skills throughout the day. These small movements are quite complex, though. That is why practice and refinement are necessary, starting at a young age. Here is a list of some top-notch toys to help your child develop their fine motor skills. This top 9 list has proven to be the ideal collection for success.
Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball
It’s never too early to encourage fine motor development. Having the right plaything in your toy crate is essential. If you’re looking for the perfect developmental toy that can be used from birth on, then consider the Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball.
This unique bumpy ball combines a variety of different textures and materials. These help to develop a new baby’s tactical sensitivity. This toy encourages his reaching, grasping, and transferring skills, too. That is because it’s designed with a variety of chunky protrusions to pique the baby’s interest.
Parents will love that the rattling sound in the Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball. The sounds create neural connections. Bright, age-appropriate colors and patterns help with developing vision.
All in all, this is a beautiful “first toy” for any newborn baby. From sights, sounds to textures, this ball encourages healthy sensory development right from birth.
If there is one standard trinket that’s found in any baby toy arsenal, it’s stacking rings. Did you know that these creative, familiar toys are superior when it comes to improving fine motor skills, in particular hand-eye coodination?
The Sassy Stacks of Circles Stacking Ring is a perfect choice for babies starting at around six months of age. The rings can easily be picked up and placed on the straight post, which helps with strengthening overall hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
They are also uniquely designed to pique the baby’s interest in many ways. Each piece has a different texture and weight. There are also colorful beads found inside the clear rings. The emitted noises help the baby to connect sound to sight. The rings are also big enough and textured for small children to easily grasp. For those who are still mouthing at this age, the textured rings provide additional sensory input.
With a variety of colors, shapes, textures, and sizes, young children as little as six months old get an introduction to STEM learning.
When you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, you should always look for toy sets. And don’t worry — there is a set that encourages fine motor skill development. For this goal, the clear choice is the Stacking Peg Board Game Set by Twinkle Me. The set combines Montessori inspiration with a heavy emphasis on fine motor skills.
Inside the set, you will find a pegboard complete with a variety of different-colored pegs. As a toddler or preschooler stacks and places the pegs, the eyes and hands will have to work together. This encourages hand-eye coordination, visual perception, and you guessed it — fine motor skills.
The education doesn’t stop there, though. Playing with different pegs, young children also learn valuable skills such as:
- Colors, and
These skills amplify when the child decides to use the colorful bonus pegboard that’s bursting with fun, vibrant colors.
If your child is more creative, they can follow the guide to create some structures like towers, planes and ferris wheels. Following the guide to find the matching coloured pegs helps your child learn to read visual instructions and develop matching and spatial skills.
Toddlers are busy. That’s why companies invented busy boards. Busy boards are a great way to keep a small child occupied and interested while also learning. The Dressing Busy Board by Gojmzo comes with a variety of activities, including:
- Buckles with varying difficulty levels
- Shoe laces
These activities allow a child to learn and practice a plethora of essential skills needed for dressing, from more simple tasks like zippers and buckles to more complex tasks such as tying their shoelaces. It promotes hands-on learning using a variety of different dressing materials
Another bonus of opting for a busy board such as this is that it’s portable. Since it is so incredibly engaging, it’s a great option for taking to restaurants or long car rides. Your child will be so invested in trying to understand how to operate the different buckles!
We love busy boards and that’s why we recommended another busy board to the list! Although this busy board is not portable, it provides a greater diversity of activities for your child to develop fine motor skills.
The Montesorri Busy Board has over 20 different activities on this board. It includes a telephone, lock with key, wheels, switch, robot, shoe, bell, door, spinner, latches and more. Your child will definitely stay occupied with this fun and engaging busy board.
This busy board is made with basswood and non-toxic paint so it is a safe toy for younger children. Although all the parts are sturdy and solid, the busy board still contains small parts so recommend for those 3 year old and above.
For all carrot and non-carrot lovers, this is a fun sorting toy to help develop hand-eye coordination, bilateral coordination and dexterity. It also helps make learning about vegetables and food preparation fun. Your child can use this toy and imitate you while you are cooking meals.
The Coogam Wooden Carrot Sorting Toy comes with 5 different sized carrots. After harvesting the carrots, you can cut the carrot into two pieces using the wooden knife. This game helps develop bilateral coordination in putting the carrots together or holding the carrot with one hand and knife with the other hand. It promotes the use of using both hands together, which is an important fine motor skill.
There is certainly a running theme with these fine motor skill toys — they’re mostly based off of old, “classic” toys. Why? Because they have proved, time and time again, to work. The same is true for the vintage town magnetic mazes. The tried-and-true classic gets a fun makeover with the HABA Town Maze Magnetic Game.
The HABA Town Maze Magnetic Game comes with everything you know and loves about the original model. It has a variety of different buildings and balls. The goal is to match the colorful balls to their respective garage. The child develops fine motor dexterity as they navigate the ball throughout the city. This toy also encourages spatial awareness, colors, and counting.
This is a bright, colorful, and somewhat challenging game. It is great for encouraging fine motor skills. As an added bonus, this magnetic maze game also comes with some tricky roadblocks. Kids learn essential problem-solving skills when maneuvering around the roadblocks.
Much like the busy board, the HABA Town Maze Magnetic Game is another excellent pick for on-the-go activities. Take it almost anywhere, and your child will have fun while he learns.
Fishing games are great to develop hand-eye coordination, motor control, and persistence even when the game becomes hard. The great thing about using these toys is that, even if the game becomes challenging for the young one, they will often persist as it is fun. At the same time, it also helps develops problem-solving and emotional regulation skills.
The Coogam Wooden Magnetic Alphabet Fishing Game is recommended as it also teaches children alphabet matching. It allows children to learn the letters in the alphabet. It also promotes colour and letter matching.
With two wooden rods, you can play this game with your child, or even encourage your child to play with another peer to help them develop some play and social skills. Whether they play by themselves or with others, there are a range of skills for them to develop using this simple fishing game.
Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort Board
Shape sorters are valuable toys to have in your child’s toy box. They are excellent toys for building shape, color, and size recognition and differentiation. With a variety of shapes and colors, they can also be useful for inspiring imagination. It also stimulates intellectual development.
The Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort Board is a first-rate choice for a sorter toy because it includes five different shapes, including circle, rectangle, triangle, square, and octagon. As children work to sort the shapes, they can also practice colour matching and counting.
Another thing to enjoy about this stack sorter is that it is rather long and lean. It doesn’t take up too much space, which means it can easily fit into your child’s storage bin.
Making sure your child develops their fine motor skill shouldn’t be a challenge. Any of these toys are wonderful options. You can rest assured your child is getting the necessary help for fine motor development. Make sure to advance from the bumpy ball to the shape sorter when the time is right to present a further challenge.
Improve your child’s fine motor skills development through our detailed guide on prone extension exercises available on our blog.