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Emerging Fine Motor Skills: Toys for Toddlers and Babies

Nov 05th, 2021 | by Georgia Berbert

Georgia Berbert

November 05th, 2021

One of the best (and most fun!) ways for children to develop fine motor skills is through play, but what are the best tools for the job? Here are some NAPA’s top picks for improving baby and toddler emerging fine motor skills 

1. Turkey Basters and Water

This is an easy one. All you need is one turkey baster per child, or you can add in some cups and ladles for scooping and pouring. Set them up with a bin or a few bowls of water and let them go to town. To make this more fun, try coloring the water different colors to see how they mix. Hint: You can always do this one in the bathtub if it’s too cold to go outside.  

2. Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog

This colorful toy provides a fun and engaging way for toddlers to practice multiple different grasps on the hedgehog’s wide spines (which store nicely in the hedgehog’s back!) It also promotes the use of both hands – known as bilateral coordination.  

3. Pop Tubes

A no-brainer that promotes grasp strength and bilateral coordination and appeals to anyone, no matter their age.  

4. InnyBin

Children who are just developing fine motor skills love to take things out, while being asked to put something “in” can often result in tears. These bins are designed to make taking something out just hard enough that your child will find it engaging, but not so hard as to be discouraged. Amazingly, the same holds true for putting in! With the stretchy bungees on the sides, “putting in” becomes not only an achievable task, but an enjoyable one!  

5. Pound-A-Ball Toy

This toy is amazing for kids who are just gaining control of reaching, as well as grasp and release skills. This toy also provides a wonderful opportunity for children to explore cause and effect as it pertains to their own movements. Not to mention it’s just plain fun.  

Looking for More Fine Motor Fun? Find Inspiration in the NAPA Blog!

About the Author

Spot this Denver-based occupational therapist easily in her bright colors! Georgia loves nothing more than helping a child achieve something awesome. This highly caffeinated OT keeps all of us on our toes and helps us tap into our creative side.  

TAGS: Blogs, OT