We often hear about the importance of a child developing fine motor skills but do we always know what that means or why it’s so important? As your child develops, being able to color with crayons, cut with scissors, tie their shoes, or complete puzzles becomes integral to their development. We can ensure their success by developing the small muscles in their hands.
Here’s how we do that in our house!
Tots can build muscle strength most easily through play!
We LOVE the Lakeshore peg board with chunky pegs. Not only do they push through the foam mat, they can also be stacked (and sorted by color but we’ll stay focused on fine motor for now!).
Active tots can get lots of fine motor mileage out of a toy like this hammer one by Melissa and Doug. They have to place the ball in the opening, grip the hammer, and then hit the ball through the hall. So many hand muscles are developed through this!
G is almost two and one of his favorite activities that requires a TON of fine motor work is when he plays with his Duplo blocks! They’re the chunky version of tiny Legos and they are AWESOME. I highly recommend the new Lego Duplo Read and Learn series. While they do err on the pricey side, they are so rich with learning opportunities and fine motor work as the child builds the animals in the book.
Looking for a quick activity to set up? Empty out the salt shaker, push some pipe cleaners through the lid, and have your tot string beads onto the “branches.” I promise it’ll be challenging and focused work!
As we hone their fine motor skills, we develop their hand muscles, which will aid them in hand writing tasks later on!
Written by Jill