This post will give you some simple play ideas to develop fine motor skills that you can do at home or nursery with very little preparation. If you’re interested in top toy ideas for around 18 months of age head to this post here.
This website contains affiliate links. As an affiliate I may earn money from qualifying purchases. Thank you if you do use one of my links – it helps keep my website going. Please see affiliate link and disclaimer page for more information.
Playdough Fine Motor Cutting
Floss (our daughter) has been really into watching me cut things out lately. I did some research and found some scissors that I felt were suitable for her. Floss has incredibly long hair for her age and these scissors will cut playdough and paper, but don’t cut hair – perfect!
She’s had great fun attempting to make snips in playdough. Although you wouldn’t describe the action as ‘cutting’, yet, her motor control over the scissors is definitely improving each time she uses them.
Feely Bag Fine Motor Sensory Play
Oh you can do so much with a little bag! Floss enjoys several games that we play with small objects popped inside a feely bag. You can use any bag or even a box to play these games.
The objects can be anything you find around the home. It’s good to start with familiar objects for your child. Some items that I use Floss can name and others she knows the name of but doesn’t yet orally say the word herself, so it’s a great opportunity to develop vocabulary too. I normally have one object that introduces new vocabulary to her.
Games we play include
- Have just one item in the bag and get your little one to put their hand in and try and guess what it is. No peeping!
- Say the name of an item and get your little one to try and fish out that item without looking.
- Show a very small part of the object out of the bag and gradually increase how much you show. Can they guess what it is?
Music and Fine Motor Play
You need music, a big sheet of paper and crayons. Put on a piece of music and give your child a crayon in each hand and let them create. I put on Orinoco Flow by Enya for Floss the other day and gave her some blue crayons. She had a great time and you could definitely see that the music affected her movement and tempo.
If you have a child who struggles with putting enough pressure on paper to make a mark with traditional crayons and pens I’d highly recommend Stabilo Woody Pencils. I used to use them in school with children who found they could not mark make easily due to lack of strength. Floss is hypermobile and does find it incredibly tricky to make marks, the Stabilo Woody Pencils have been perfect for her to make satisfying marks.
Finger Gym Fine Motor
Thank you Galina Dolya™ for granting permission to use images of FINGER GYM and share some of the lovely activities.
Finger Gym by Galina Dolya & Judy Holder. The lovely people behind Finger Gym are letting me share with you great ideas in their book. I’m sharing this fab idea that Floss loves called ‘My Toolkit’. You use your hands to make different actions to mimic tools. With most of the activities there is a language element to them as well. Floss loves having a go at copying me as I say the words and do the actions. As well as a saw and hammer there is a screwdriver, pincers and a drill. We’ve made up our own for a sander and chisel too. What would you add?
Fine Motor Skills and Balls
I couldn’t not give a shout out to the humble ball. Firstly, the word ball is the favourite and it’s the first thing Floss has said to me most mornings this week. We’ve headed downstairs and she’s gone straight for the box of balls. They’re definitely developing her balance as she moves to chase a ball she throws and I also love the social aspect of passing a ball between each other.
Having a selection of different balls that need to be grasped in different ways is really good for fine motor development and a great sensory exploration opportunity. You can get balls with different textures too.
If you’re looking for more ball fun ideas then check out this post here.
As always, I would recommend adult supervision with activities and take care to ensure the items you are using are suitable for your child in both age and development. The views expressed are my own. If I have been sent a product for review then I will state this is the case; my review will be my honest opinion.